Tisbury: Give kindness

Heard on Main Street: The best things in life are not things.

We don’t realize how different our celebration of the holidays is from many years ago. When my mother-in-law was 12, her family in West Tisbury gave her a gold locket. It is a lovely locket which I now have, with her initials engraved on it. I was astonished when she gave it to me and told me that was the only present she got for Christmas. That was usually the case each year. The same was true for her brothers, although they usually got some kind of toy or ball. One year there was a sled — for everyone to use.

My holiday gifts included clothing, but not many toys. I did get an orange, a rare treat in winter in those days. Books were always good, and sometimes a puzzle or something to be worked at quietly indoors.

Christmas never included wheeled toys when I was young. We lived in a small town in northwestern Connecticut surrounded by seven hills. My father claimed those seven hills were claws that scraped all the snow out of the clouds, so we always had snow on the ground from well before Christmas. One year much later, my young children left the sled out overnight while we were visiting for the holiday. That sled did not reappear until the next spring at Easter.

My mother didn’t much care for boots and snowsuits, so my winter birthday was always celebrated in the summer. A friend whose birthday is Dec. 27 told me she never had a birthday party when she was small. Her mother always said no one had any money left after Christmas. I am old enough now that I don’t remember much about my actual birthdays, except that it usually fell during the school break. So obviously not thinking at all clearly, I thought every kid got a week off from school for her birthday. I never realized how spoiled I was.

What about your New Year’s resolution? The Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library welcome new members. They meet at 10:15 am on the second Saturday at the library. The Library Book Group meets at 1:30 pm on the third Thursday. Books are at the circulation desk; refreshments provided. Libraries can always use new Friends.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out on Saturday to Toby Riseborough and his aunt, Denise Dorsey Cafarelli. Sunday is the date for Ron Druett’s birthday, but by the time it is Sunday here, he has already partied in New Zealand, on Dec. 30.

Have a prosperous and Happy New Year.

Heard on Main Street: Kindness, when given away, keeps coming back.