Oak Bluffs: Snowy Christmas Eve, bowling is back, and happy birthday to George Davis

—MV Times

“Today, as we wish each other a Happy New Year, let us determine to be more sincere, compassionate, warmhearted human beings, trying to make our world a more equal place. That way we’ll actually make it a happy new year.”  –Dalai Lama XIV

We had a white Vineyard Christmas! I am grateful for the local photographers who got out in the middle of our snowfall and captured the stunning beauty around the island. The Campground was particularly magical in falling snow. It was so fun for the children — it truly doesn’t get any better when you’re a kid than snow on Christmas Eve. 

I caught up with the Wightmans just before Christmas (thank you, John, for suggesting the Dalai Lama quote!). Many of you knew Jan as the music director at MVRHS until her retirement in 2018. Jan and John transform their beautiful home in West Tisbury into a Christmas wonderland, and we were lucky enough to join them there for some holiday cheer, along with Kate Poole, who was home for the holidays from Nashville. 

With COVID testing in place, we hosted a very fun group of friends on snowy Christmas Eve for the first time in two years. The jolly group included Sam Oslyn, Kaya Seiman and their parents Rob and Gina, and grandmother Bridget. Eve Heyman and Dave Tuminaro brought daughters Sierra and Mackenzie. Janet and Tim Sylvia braved the roads from West Tisbury, and we were also joined by Jenna, Zach, and Doobie, Deb Hart, plus Willy Nevin, his mom Nancy, and other friends. It seemed especially meaningful to be together this year. Perhaps the past few years have taught us to appreciate the little things more, like gathering with friends. 

Kwanzaa celebrations began on Dec. 26. This seven-day festival began in 1966, and celebrates the culture and traditions of people of African heritage. Each day of Kwanzaa (which was named from a Swahili phrase meaning “first fruits”) honors one of seven principles for living: unity, self-determination, responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Celebrations include candle lighting, colorful clothing, music, dance, and special food, and many have a last-day feast. However you honor this important tradition, Joyous Kwanzaa! 

This in from the Oak Bluffs Senior Center: Bowling is back! Bowling and luncheon for Oak Bluffs seniors will kick off on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at the Barn, Bowl, and Board in Oak Bluffs. Please call 508-693-4509, ext. 3, for additional information. 

My favorite gifts are usually books, and this year did not disappoint. I was gifted “The President Is Missing,” by James Patterson and Bill Clinton. Santa also brought a brand-new book by Island resident Elizabeth Shick, “The Golden Land.” Liz lives in West Tisbury and Dhaka, Bangladesh, and she wrote this novel after living in Myanmar for six years and immersing herself in the history and culture. I can’t wait to dig in!

Wrapping up December birthdays, we wish happy birthday to George Davis on Dec. 29, along with Asa Vought and little Anderson Farrissey! Start 2023 with a big birthday hug for Tommye Ann Brown on the 1st. She shares the date with Abe Seiman — warm wishes to you, Abe! Michelle DeHaro celebrates on the 2nd, with Jen Araujo and Michelle Bettencourt. Happy Anniversary to Jeremy Jones and Annie Parsons on Jan. 3! Birthday greetings on the 3rd go to Mathea Morais, Nicole deBettencourt, and Chris Alley. Oh, and J.R.R. Tolkien! (My 9-year-old grandson is currently obsessed with “Lord of the Rings.”) Adam deBettencourt celebrates on Jan. 4. 

Please let me know if you have a birthday or special occasion for me to share! When I took over the column one year ago, Megan Alley shared with me her list of special dates. But I don’t want to miss anybody, so help your grateful columnist.

Wishing you all good health and much joy in the New Year! Send me your news!