Oak Bluffs: Ocean Park lights, Lip Synch Workshop, and YMCA Child Watch

—MV Times

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year long.”  –Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens 

“A Christmas Carol” has some of the best Dickens lines. For example, “There is nothing in this world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” And of course, “Bah! Humbug!” Someone pointed out that it is basically a story of a miserly employer who has to be scared by three ghosts before he will pay his workers a living wage. But I thought it was magical when I first read it and saw it performed. Michael Caine was my favorite human Scrooge, but the best version of all is “The Muppets Christmas Carol.” I mean, Kermit as Bob Cratchett, with little Kermit as Tiny Tim? It doesn’t get any better!

Thank you to the Gatchell family on County Road for once again outdoing themselves with a fabulous, magical Christmas display for us all to enjoy. The lights will be on from 5 to 8 pm through Dec. 31, so be sure to take the time to take it in. You can also drop off food items or a cash donation for the Food Pantry in the box. 

Ocean Park will also be glowing with lights through Dec. 31. I love all the lights, the beautiful trees and colors, but most of all I love the Christmas tree and twinkly lights in the bandstand. My second favorite town decoration is the floating tree in Sunset Lake; many thanks to Kathleen Cowley for spearheading the effort to make that happen. Circuit Ave. looks amazing, the trees sparkling with lights and the storefronts dressed up. 

The Christmas Pageant at the Ag Hall is back this year. On Christmas Eve from 5 to 6 pm, the First Congregational Church will present the story of Christmas with actors from across the Island, including children and stable animals, and beautiful music for all to enjoy. 

The week after Christmas, the W.T. library is teaming up with Chef Deon of the VFW to provide free lunch every day, Dec. 27 through the 30th. Delicious soups and bread will be served from 11:30 am to 1 pm each day, a lovely way to catch up with neighbors and friends post-holiday.

Island Theater Workshop is sponsoring a Lip Sync contest fundraiser at the P.A. Club on Dec. 27. These competitions are always so much fun, bringing out the performer in people whom you’d least expect to see onstage. I’ll never forget Leon Hawksley as Mick Jagger a few years ago, when the schools competed against each other! I’m looking forward to this one, it starts at 7 pm. 

The Tabernacle hosted a beautiful first night of Hanukkah celebration on Sunday. Another community Hanukkah Celebration will take place on Dec. 22 at Owen Park Beach in Vineyard Haven at 6 pm, with public Menorah Lighting, music, children’s entertainment, latkes and donuts, hot soups, and drinks.

The YMCA is offering Child Watch again! Enjoy your workout while your child plays, makes new friends, and is cared for by the well-trained staff. The program is for ages 6 months to 12 years, and it is offered currently on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 am to 11:45 am. There is a transitional orientation to begin enrolling, see all the details on the website: ymcamv.org.

Another fun activity for families at the Y is drop-in family swim at the recreation pool, Monday to Friday, 10 am to noon. There are also late afternoon times.

We really are blessed to have such a great family-oriented community campus, which includes the YMCA, the Skatepark, and the Ice Arena. Don’t forget to take advantage of these activities if you’re looking for something to do over the holiday school break.

The library will be closed on Saturdays over the two holiday weekends (Dec. 24 and 31), but they will continue fun programming on Dec. 27 with cookie decorating in the children’s room from 3 to 4 pm. On Dec. 28, you can come to storytime for ages 1½ to 5 at 10:15 am, and pick up a Curbside Craft kit to make at home. Game Night at the Barn is from 7:30 to 10 pm, a great chance to socialize and play some board games. 

Happy birthday to Jennifer Underwood Thomas on Dec. 22! Taylor Rasmussen will be celebrating the big THREE-OH — expecting that celebration to go on all weekend. On the 25th, happy birthday wishes go to Denitsa Alton. Muriel O’Rourke celebrates on the 27th, a date she shares with Louis Pasteur. On the 28th, give Sonya Lima a birthday hug, and send out wishes to Seth Myers too!

Have a safe and happy holiday, everyone! Send me your news!