West Tisbury: Hanukkah events, West Tisbury Church Pageant, and free soup and bread

—MV Times

I am hoping for a white Christmas, but listening to Bing Crosby and watching “Holiday Inn” may be as close as I get. Weather reports for this weekend predict rain and 40-plus-degree temperatures. We’ll see. That’s the wonderful and humbling effect of weather; we’ll see what comes, and live with it.

Hanukkah began at sunset on Sunday. There are so many happy memories of my childhood holidays, of standing in front of the menorah as my mother lit candles and sang the blessing. Her old-fashioned melody is the one I still sing, recalling her pride as she taught us the words. I still light the same menorah. Are all of us bound to our childhoods when it comes to holidays? Maybe that’s just what it is to be an adult.

Megan Mendenhall just stopped by, and we reminisced about the tree her grandmother, Margaret Logue, used to erect and decorate. It stood in the open middle of her house, two stories high, filling the entire view as you entered. Megan said she would have to hang out the study window to reach the top. It had more decorations than I had ever seen, carefully wrapped and unwrapped, yet she always seemed thrilled to find or be given new ones. A tree that size could accommodate an unlimited ornament collection. Somehow, they all were visible, arranged so they could be suitably admired. I asked Megan if Margaret still had those magnificent trees during the COVID years: She did.

The Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center and the new Chabad congregation in Vineyard Haven both have scheduled Hanukkah events, some live, some on Zoom. Services, the nightly lighting of menorahs, and latke dinners are some of them. 

Christmas Eve is this Saturday evening. The West Tisbury Church pageant will take place at the Ag Hall, and begin at 5 pm. Those attending are asked to arrive early, as the pageant is a highlight and much-loved event of the holiday season. A service of lessons and carols will be held at 10 pm at the church. It is a most beautiful service, ending with candlelight, and the singing of “Silent Night” before the congregation silently files out into the night.

There will be a service on Christmas morning at the usual Sunday morning time of 10 am. That service will be both in-person and on Zoom.

The library is closing early on Christmas Eve, and will remain closed on Sunday and Monday. When they reopen on Wednesday, there will be free soup and bread lunches served from 11:30 am to 1 pm on the ensuing weekdays. Chef Dion makes the soup. Everyone is welcome; no signup.

Check the library’s website or the event listings in the Martha’s Vineyard Times for other programs and meetings.

I wish every one of my readers a week of holiday celebrations. It can be enough to celebrate the sun brightening the sky, taking a walk, or any number of things. It’s good to be grateful for something in our lives, and often, those simplest pleasures are the most enduring. As Henry Bassett always writes in his family’s Christmas cards, “Happy Everything.”