One holiday down, two to go. Seems like many people in Aquinnah stayed close to home this year: the Newmans, the Smiths, and the Mannings all celebrated at home and did not have to brave the crowds of cars and people clogging the roads off Island. I went to New Jersey to see my husband’s family and while the area we were in was not hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, you could still see evidence of her presence in the massive amount of tree limbs and leaves lining the sidewalks and we saw more than a few enormous trees that had been felled and had taken up parts of the sidewalk with them.

This Saturday, Joan LeLacheur will have an open studio in Oak Bluffs at Tommye Brown Hair Salon at 7 Seth’s Pass from 2 to 5 pm. She will have open studios at her home in Aquinnah on December 8, 15, and 22 from 10 am to 5 pm. Joanie’s home/studio is at 42 Old South Road.

On Saturday, December 1, at 7 pm and Sunday, December 2 at 2 pm, Children in the Arts of Martha’s Vineyard will present the 15th Annual “Nutcracker Gala” at the Martha’s Vineyard High School Performing Arts Center. There are many children from the Island performing in this show (unfortunately there are no dancers from Aquinnah this year). You do not have to go to Boston to see a first rate “Nutcracker” you can just go to Oak Bluffs.

Sassafras will hold their families in nature day this Sunday, Dec. 2, from 1 to 3 pm at the Tipi; the price is $25 for the whole family. Please call Saskia Vanderhoop for all the information at 508-645-2008. And remember there will also be a Winter Solstice Celebration at Sassafras on Friday December 21, all day and evening long.

The last talk in Phil Weinstein’s American short story series is Wednesday, December 5, at Edgartown Library, from 7 to 8:30 pm. Elizabeth Strout’s collection, “Olive Kitteridge” (2008 winner of the Pulitzer Prize) will be discussed. Phil is very pleased at how the series has been going: many people have been coming and the conversations about the books have been terrific.