This year I was pleased to take advantage of the lovely Advent services at the West Tisbury Church led by Rev. Cathlin Baker. This was an exceptional experience. She promises to offer something similar during Lent.

The Advent services provided a comfortable preparation for the holiday season. I had not had such an experience before.

When I was a small child, there was a popular story about Christmas. Times were hard and for reasons of work, the father had to leave for a few weeks before Christmas. He had an old truck and was expected home on Christmas Eve. The little ones had faith that Daddy would be home in time.

Some of the older members of the family were concerned this might not happen. And some thought it was awful to even think it a possibility that Daddy would not be home for Christmas. As the story went, a terrible snow storm came up and other winter events conspired to impede travel in the area. After dark when the lights in windows shone out on the snow, the old truck made its way up the road and arrived home. Daddy came home safely — with piles of presents on the seat inside the truck. I hope you had this wonderful kind of Chirstmas this year.

The beautiful concert to benefit Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard is always a treat and last week was no exception. How can it be that each year seems even better than the year before? There are many familiar faces among the talented musicians donating their time and talent. One group of singers included Molly Conole, Jenny Friedman, Shelley Brown, Julie Williamson, along with Kevin Ryan, Brad Austin, Glenn Carpenter, and Peter Boak. This octet entertained us while seeming to have a wonderful time performing together.

The audience was also treated to music by organist Wesley Brown, pianists Lisa Weiss and Wes Nagy, cellist Jan Hyer, and harpist Sandra Bittermann. Avalon Weiland, a very talented young harpist, joined in an instrumental trio with her brother, Andy, and father, Brian, to perform a beautiful arrangement of What Child Is This. We were entranced by Glenn Carpenter’s singing of a song called Sweet Little Jesus Boy. I enjoyed that one which I’d not heard before. The whole evening was a delight.

Jay LaVoie, one of the managers of The Black Dog in Vineyard Haven, reports that they have asked their customers to donate to the Vineyard Committee on Hunger. In the first few weeks of this month, there was about $300 collected.

We were delighted to celebrate our holiday this year with our young granddaughters. Rory is eight and a half and last spent Christmas on the Island as an infant. This year she is joined with her six-year-old sister Fiona and of course her parents, Craig and Laura Mayhew. They decorated our tree — a treat for little girls whose mother usually chooses many fragile items for their family tree. We used the small wooden cookie ornaments painted by our own children years ago. That meant our holiday was both colorful and nostalgic.

Some of you stayed home and were happily taking part in the festivities all over the island. Many of you were traveling far to be with family, and we hope you will soon be safely home. It was rather fun to have our island to ourselves and see people out with their families in the mild weather. We wish you all a wonderful new year.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out Sunday, December 29, to Peter VanTassel,

Toby Riseborough, and Toby’s aunt Denise Dorsey Cafarelli. On Monday we send happy birthday wishes to Ron Druett who parties in New Zealand.

Heard on Main Street: Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.