It doesn’t quite have its foot in the door, but winter has managed to make its way to the front stoop. The rays of light grow shorter and colder, but the drummers drumming, the ladies dancing, and the partridge in the pear tree are sure to bring warmth to your heart and your hearth. Yes, I declare we’ve rolled up our sleeves and dived right in to the holiday season.

The gift giving begins with the library offering its fine free month. This is your big chance to find and return those old movies, magazines and paperbacks you may have accidentally tucked under the TV stand or under your bed. All outstanding fines are forgiven if you donate non-perishable food items for the Island Food Pantry. Tie up a loose end and feel good about contributing to a friend in need at the same time.

Not only is it time to clear up any whoopsadaisies you may have with the library, but it’s time to make the annual pilgrimage to County Road in Oak Bluffs to view the Gatchells’ amazing light display. From what I hear, their lights are on from 5:30–8 pm. Don’t forget, they too have a drop box for the Food Pantry.

The first of the December Winter Farmers Markets is this Saturday, December 7, at the Ag Hall from 10 am to 1 pm. Who knows what you might find to stash away in your pantry or wrap up at this gift-giving time of year. I’m grateful to Linda Alley for always keeping me in the loop in regards to the Farmer’s Market schedule.

Thanksgiving was the right time for friends to make the pilgrimage to town for a long weekend of food and frolic. The Parker clan, consisting or David, Becky (Harrison), Sophie, Meghan, Phoebe, and Isabel, made the journey from Carlisle. They feasted and took strolls with some favorite family members. John, Hillary, Adelaide, Thea, Ella, and Lathrop Keene took on the role of host family. Dinnertime fun included more family favorites. One of the most handsome young men in town, year and a half old Liam Keene, and don’t forget his mom Emily Drazen and dad Peter were in the mix too.

The Frank family swooped in for a festive family get together at their Sheep Hill Road home. Scott, Jennifer, Sophia, Lukas, and Stella had some quality family time and some brisk walkabouts at Hancock Beach. And yes, Stella, 16 and the youngest, gulp, was behind the steering wheel.

The extended Scott family reconvened over the holiday. Malia (Scott), Chris, Eva, Theo and Quinn Stanley cruised down from Dorchester to dine at the Scott family table. Brooks was a bit disappointed we didn’t manage a get together with Theo but, alas, our off-Island adventure and their on-Island adventures just didn’t jibe.

Although I didn’t see them, Susan, Jason, and Sophie Balaban were at their Wayside home to give thanks. I think I can safely say both woodland and beach walks took up a lot of their time.

Are you looking for a way to warm yourself on a chilly night? The Chilmark Church has begun its winter soup suppers. Tuesday evenings at 5:30 pm is when the door unlocks and something warm and hearty awaits your belly. All are welcome to join for food and conversation. Thanks to Pam Goff for the reminder.

Don’t forget, the Chilmark Preschool is selling bottles (and cases) of maple syrup for their winter fundraiser. Orders are due next Monday. Give Lindsey Scott a shout at or 508-648-1353 to order or track down a preschool parent.

One more reminder, the Chilmark Volunteer Firefighter’s Association will host its annual town children’s Christmas party on December 18. Now is your chance to help me update Santa’s list of children living in town, newborn through fifth grade. Shoot me off an email if you know of someone new to town that Santa needs to be made aware of — The man in red is pretty busy at this time of year, so he sure does appreciate any assistance you fine town folk may be willing to offer.