Hey, who knew Dean Martin wrote Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas? I just learned this important piece of information from Terry Gross on National Public Radio. Judy Garland first sang it in Meet Me in St. Louis. She gave it a tragic subtext, but basically it’s a merry little song, as witnessed by the fact that the average American is likely to hear Have Yourself 437 times per Christmas season (statistical data supplied by The Nadler Research Group).

An old buddy of mine from UCLA — a handsome, cynical young guy named Terry Guerin — was married to one of Dean Martin’s daughters. Terry said that no matter how many times he visited his father-in-law’s Beverly Hills mansion, he’d never found a single book. Well, who needs books?

A second Yuletide baby has been added to the Oak Bluffs nursery (the first is Roger and Jennifer Schilling’s son, Roger Jr., hitting the big 0-1 mark this week). Soleil Zenobia S. Daugherty was born on Dec. 4 to Lenston H. and Pamela S.H. Daugherty, who reside at 61 Ocean avenue in our fair town of Oak Bluffs, where all the women are strong, the men are handsome, and the kids way, way above average — in fact they’re downright brilliant!

My sister, Cindy Mascott, arrived here on Dec. 26, Boxing Day (Boxing Day is what you celebrate when you can’t get an airline ticket for Dec. 25.) Cindy lived on Island for a couple of years in the mid-1990s when she worked as a recreational therapist at Windemere. For her present visit, I’m praying for snow, and lots of it. Like all California girls raised in the San Fernando Valley, she can’t get enough of the stuff. A few years back we had a plan to meet in Boston. A blizzard preceded her plane — in fact, hers was the last flight allowed to land at Logan.

Meanwhile, all during the wee hours, my mom in California, and I at the Elliot & Picket House on Mount Vernon Place, burned up the phone lines fretting about Cindy’s welfare. At last I got the kid’s call: she was outside on the front stoop. I rushed downstairs to open the front door (The E& P House is sort of a self-service joint). There was Cindy in a glow of Beacon Hill lamplight, snow falling on a hatless head, gloveless hands turned up as if she were supplicating the weather gods as she cried out, “It’s so beautiful!”

In other developments, Helen Scarborough of Central avenue in the Camp Ground, friend of the late poet, writer, cartoonist and songwriter Shel Silverstein, is delighted to see her interview material incorporated into Lisa Rogak’s new biography, A Boy Named Shel. You’ll want to read the entire bio from cover to cover, but just in case you’re keen to jump ahead to catch Helen’s input, she’s quoted on pages 161, 171, 188, 206 and 225, and two of her photos are immortalized mid-volume.

Inspiring news from the Oak Bluffs School: the Anti-Bullying Congress met Dec. 17 for the first time, led by peer outreach coordinator Amy Lilavois. She was assisted by the peer outreach senior at the high school, Julie Perry, an Oak Bluffs School graduate.

At the library, you can search a new gizmo called Ancestry Library Edition, a popular tool for on-line genealogical research. Tech support provided, if needed. Movie night is Thursday, Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. showing The Nanny Diaries.

As we verge nonstop toward the end of the year, I want to extend thanks to my wonderful readers and to the Gazette for letting me deck the town column halls with boughs of moi, and fa-fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-LA! To be continued in 2008.