The rain has persisted over the past few weeks but it is better than snow and ice.

The Aquinnah Christmas party will be held on Dec. 22 at 5 p.m. at the town hall. It is a potluck dinner so please bring a dish to share. Santa will arrive by his usual mode of travel in the Aquinnah firetruck and will have gifts for good little boys and girls. There are holiday lights adorning the town hall and the columns in front as well as the fire station. Thanks to Lang, Irina and Sasha Gerhard for guiding Spa Tharpe in placing the large peace sign in lights along the banks of the western edge off Menemsha Pond, a great symbol for peace in the coming year.

Have you noticed the U.S. Postal Service mail box in front of the town hall. That is a first step to new postal services in Aquinnah where there has not been a post office for more than seven decades.

Chicken Alley Thrift Shop will be open on Sunday, Dec. 22 from noon to 4 p.m. with lots of last minute gift items, Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, gift bags and toys.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be held at Community Baptist Church of Gay Head at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. This is always a serene service and will be conducted by Rev. Leo Christian with music performed by the ukulele group, as well as Michael Gilman on guitar and Aaron Jackson on piano, to be joined by others.

Get well wishes to Capt. Buddy Vanderhoop who is hobbling around on crutches for the time being. It is cutting into his scalloping days.

Tobias Vanderhoop has returned to Washington state after a brief visit home with his parents Ed and Fawn Fantasia, his brother Eddie, and his sister Elsie and her family.

Over at USCG Station Menemsha, BM2 Montgomery Buffington has recently returned from three weeks of heavy weather training at Cape Disappointment in Washington State.

Welcome to BM3 Brian Wood, his wife Jordan, and their six month old daughter Avalee Mae Wood. Brian and Jordan are each from Kansas and he was transferred to Menemsha from Kittery, Maine.

Welcome to SA Seth Ford who has arrived from Jacksonville, Fla. The newcomers will all be on duty during the Christmas season.

The Station Menemsha crew recently had a Search and Rescue Mission 25 nautical miles southwest of the Vineyard to assist the 43 foot F/V Mary Emeline which was disabled and without power with three people onboard. The crew towed the fishing vessel to Menemsha Bight where they were met by the tugboat Jaquar to tow the vessel to New Bedford. The seven hour and 20-minute trip was made by BM2 Joel Behr, BM3 Justus Christopher, FN Ryan Ouelette, SA Patrick Shanahan and MK2 Jacob Waters-Maciel. Please remember the Station Menemsha crew during the holidays. They are always there for us.

May you have the merriest Merry Christmas as you celebrate with family and friends. Be mindful of those who may be alone, those far away from home or those who may be struggling at this time. May we all have a peaceful holiday season, reflecting on the past year.

Happy 59th anniversary wishes to Edson and Norma Rodgers as they celebrate their special day on Dec. 26.

Belated birthday wishes to Sandra Melkonian who observed a milestone this year and had a great day of sailing with many of her Aquinnah friends. A very belated Happy Birthday to Matahquhs Leonard Spears Vanderhoop who turned four years old on Dec. 8.

Happy Birthday wishes this week to Max Batzer who will party on Dec. 21, sharing the day with Molly Fischer. A very special milestone birthday wish to my daughter in law Theresa Kistner Manning who will celebrate her natal day on Dec. 22.

John Bunker will party on Dec. 22 as well. Gabi Vanderhoop celebrates on Dec. 23 and Dorothy Floros on Dec. 24. Naushon Beth Vanderhoop parties on Dec. 26, sharing the day with William Kestenbaum.