West Tisbury: Haynes Point tree, dollhouses, holiday party, and David Stanwood concert

—MV Times

We had some frosty cold days this past week. Seeing our rhododendron leaves shriveled up into themselves makes it all so visible.

I had the pleasure, when driving home one afternoon last week, of seeing John Cotterill on a ladder, stringing lights on the tree at Haynes Point. When I went to Vineyard Haven on Friday, he had completed the job. Swags of colored lights draped from top to bottom. That tree always feels like it is welcoming me home, the same feeling I have seeing the lights on the firehouse across the street, and the lights in our own windows as I come down our driveway.

That tree has been a familiar sight for many years. It began as a smallish, newly planted evergreen that only needed a few strings of lights. Manny and Sharon Estrella started the tradition when Manny was fire chief. It was a family affair, as they were ably assisted by their grandchildren, Alley and Morgan Estrella, and Andrea and Amanda Pachico. The tree grew, as did the children. Bob Hennessey took over for awhile. Now John Cotterill has assumed the job, decorating a tree that towers way overhead.

My apologies to everyone for missing the town party. I totally forgot. I had spent the afternoon with Iyla Bohan, our regular Thursday together. After Stephanie picked her up and we lit the menorah together, I sat down on the sofa and just forgot.

We have had short afternoons while Iyla is taking swimming lessons at the Y, so I was thrilled to spend part of Saturday afternoon with her decorating the dollhouse for Christmas. Actually, we have two dollhouses. Mousylvania Castle, the home of our collection of Maileg mice, is decked out with a leafy garland wound with tiny white lights, the rooms all filled with toys and miniature trees. Our new Santa Mouse sits on the roof, in his toy-laden sleigh. Cat Cabin is where our Maileg cat collection lives. It is decorated to the nines, too, although simpler than the castle, as befits its less formal dwelling and decor. Iyla made signs and lots of snow, hung wreaths, and made our day together so blessedly special, as she always does.

Hanukkah began Thursday at sunset. Friday evening, the Hebrew Center hosted a Hanukkah dinner. We all brought our menorahs to light, to watch the wonderful play written by religious school director Anita Smith, and acted in by an equally wonderful cast of her students. Then came dinner with a roomful of friends. It was a lovely evening.

I made it to Station 2 Sunday afternoon to see Santa arrive. It’s my favorite event of the year. I feel like a child again waiting for Santa, and hope I never lose that sense of Christmas magic. I do believe. Always have, and always will. I hope all of the children and parents who attend will carry that magic with them, too.

The library holiday party will be next Sunday afternoon, from 1 to 3 pm. It will be as always, with greens for swags to take home, art materials to make cards, music, delicious treats to eat. It will be a potluck this year, so bring something special to share.

Other library events include a sunset concert by David Stanwood on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 4 pm, an indoor snowmaking project for kids over 3 years old on Saturday afternoon at 2 pm, and the LGBTQ book club, which will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 5:30 pm. They will discuss the book “Memorial” by Bryan Washington. Sign up and request a copy of the book at wt_mail@clamsnet.org.

Beach BeFrienders is collaborating with the Trustees of Reservations for a free event on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2 to 4 pm, at Long Point. Use the winter entrance to the beach for a cleanup, while searching the beach for treasures to use to make a holiday craft. Craft supplies will be provided to supplement your findings, and hot cocoa will keep you warm. Please register on the Trustees website. You can email cdrogin@thetrustees.org with any questions.

I know there is so much to do, packages to wrap and mail, the house to decorate, and so many parties. But do try to enjoy it all. It will be over before we know it.

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.