Aquinnah: The Polar Express

—MV Times

There are many things and people to miss and mourn this holiday season, but one thing I will truly miss is the annual Aquinnah Holiday Party. This is one of the best events in Aquinnah, with everyone coming together, bringing food and good cheer. Even if everyone doesn’t get along (and we know they don’t), they pretend to at this party. The kids get so excited for Santa, even some of the older ones still think it’s kind of cool, (even though they would never admit it). Stay safe and healthy, everyone so we can gather next year. In good news, Juli Vanderhoop and her sister-in-law, Jamie, and a whole bunch of moms in town helped to organize “Santa at the Fire Station on Christmas Eve Day.” A sign-up went around town for families to choose their own time slots between 10 am and 1 pm, so that only one family will be there at a time. It’s not a party for everyone, but it is some magic for the kids.

Speaking of magic, I got an email from Elise LeBovit of the Duck Inn that informed me that the Polar Express train has arrived at the Inn. Color me intrigued. Call Elise for an appointment for a “fantasy tour,” complete with hot cocoa, at 508-645-9018.

On Christmas Eve, the Aquinnah Community Baptist Church at 3 Church St. will host an outdoor bonfire service, at 5 pm. The Chilmark Community Church will host a virtual service of carols, at 5 pm; go to to see it. The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will have a prerecorded service available on Dec. 24. You can watch anytime on Christmas Eve, or after, at

If you still need some gifts for that special someone, contact Joan LeLacheur, who is hosting open studio visits by appointment. Call Joanie at 508-645-9954 to see her Ocean Jewelry and mosaic tiles. Joanie’s studio is located at 42 Old South Road.

Do you wish your home were more airtight and energy-efficient? Cape Light Compact will do a free assessment of how your home uses energy. They can identify what’s good and bad about your home as an energy user. The assessment can even be done remotely. Once the assessment is complete, there are many ways they can help you fulfill the recommendations they make. From sealing your house, free lightbulbs, upgrading thermostats, many rebates, and interest-free “heat loans,” you can make your home more efficient without a huge outlay of cash. To sign up for an assessment of how your home can use less energy, call CLC at 800-797-6699, or reach them online at

The Martha’s Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative presents Vineyard Reads: Racial Justice, a MVNC book discussion group, in collaboration with the West Tisbury library. The discussion group focuses on challenging views on race. This book program is part of MVNC’s series of diversity, equity, and inclusion anti-bias educational programs that aim to engage the Island community in productive conversations on racial attitude awareness, privilege, bias, institutional racism, and micro-inequities. The group is open and free to Vineyard nonprofit boards, leaders, staff, and volunteers, and interested individuals of the Island community. The third book in the series is “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson, and the discussion will take place on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 12 pm via Zoom. The Zoom login will be sent to you upon your RSVP; please contact to register.

Congratulations to Gabriella Camilleri and Stephen Hutchinson, who were married on Dec. 10, 2020! Here’s to many happy years together. Happy birthday to Christmas baby Christina Montoya, to Naushon Vanderhoop and Jessica Helen, who share Dec. 26, and to Lang Gerhard, who was born on Dec. 28. Just because your birthdays are around the holidays does not mean you are forgotten!

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,