This has not been an easy week for people with school age children, or really for anyone. The news from Connecticut was horrifying. Is still horrifying. My first thought upon hearing the news was that famous first line of all denial, “That would never happen here.” Followed quickly by, “That will never happen to my child.” Which may or may not be true, I’m sure every parent who lost a child in the shooting thought the same things about their town and their children. I like raising my child here, in Aquinnah, because I believe it to be safe. But now I’m not sure what that really means, or if that’s true. I do not know what the right solution is for preventing these violent rampages that are getting more common, and that is not the purpose of this column. I only know that in some way Newtown, Conn., is our town and those were our children and we are no longer safe.

Regardless of the news, Christmas is still, relentlessly, coming. If you are like me and still have Christmas shopping to do, there are lots of local options. Berta, Vern, and Giles Welch all have handmade jewelry for sale at the Allen Farm. Joan LeLacheur will hold one last open studio at her home studio on Old South Rd. (call 508-645-9954 for directions) this Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Lisa Vanderhoop has her work on sale at Sail MV in Vineyard Haven and John Wightman has prints and other art available at the Chilmark Bank of Martha’s Vineyard. Chilmark Chocolates is now closed until the end of January. I warned you last week, so don’t act shocked.

Come to the Aquinnah Library this Saturday from 12 noon to 2 pm to make some Christmas crafts: cards, gift tags and wrapping paper. Materials will be provided.

The Aquinnah Holiday party is this Sunday from 4 to 7 pm. There will be a special guest at 4:30. Please bring a savory dish and your holiday spirit to share.

The Community Baptist Church of Gay Head will hold its Christmas Eve service of Lessons, Carrols and Candlelighting at 5 pm on December 24. Christmas Sunday services will be 9 am on December 23. There will be no service on Christmas Day.

The Martha’s Vineyard Magazine Fifth Annual Photo Contest deadline is Monday, December 31, by midnight. Photos must be shot on or around Martha’s Vineyard, they must be the original work of the person submitting them, and the photos cannot have been digitally altered (minor color correcting is acceptable). Photos also must not have been previously published, or entered in previous MV Magazine photo contests. Prizes will be awarded for the three best photos overall. I’m thinking of you, Lisa Vanderhoop, Albert Fischer, and Lauri Bradway. I’m sure that there are other talented photographers in Aquinnah as well, so now’s your chance to show us what you can do. For more information and to see last year’s winners and other entries, visit the magazine’s website at

Happy Birthday to Theresa Manning whose birthday is Saturday and to Christina Montoya whose birthday is Christmas Day.

Be well everyone, and celebrate what you have and what you can give.