Water Mill community notes

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Santa arrived in Water Mill in style last Sunday. No sleigh for him in our little hamlet—instead, a shiny, white fire truck carried Mr. Claus to the hamlet green where he waved to the children waiting anxiously to tell him their Christmas wishes. With jolly good cheer, he soon had the little ones on his knee and sent each off with a candy cane and a bright red apple.

Christmas on the Green, a wonderful holiday tradition around here, is hosted by the Water Mill Community Club. The weather cooperated and spirits were high all around.

Last week, with the holidays just around the corner, I asked readers if they had any interesting gift ideas. Ann Lombardo dashed off a few and here are some of what she had to offer:

• Support a historic cause, our Water Mill Museum. Buy a custom brick in a loved one’s name to commemorate a family event or in memory of friends or family, and have it placed with many others at the museum. The cost is only $70. Go to watermillmuseum.org to order one. Alternatively, give a donation of any amount dedicated to someone you appreciate; the museum will send you a note of thanks you can share with the receiver.

• A monetary gift to our local public radio station at Southampton College, WLIU 88.3 FM. They are so supportive of our community, and they are supported by listener donations and sponsorships, now more than ever as other sources of funding dry up. Go to www.wliu.org.

• Give the gift of health: a membership at Southampton Youth Services is very reasonable and it is membership fees that help support this public/private entity. There is even an inexpensive walking pass that allows access to the indoor track.

• The gift of art: The Southampton Artists Association will soon have its holiday show, with lots of great smaller works, at the beautiful Southampton Cultural Center on Agawam Park’s Pond Lane. Check the arts section in this paper for details.

Thanks, Ann, for a list of great ideas.

High on the list of gifts I’ve given over the years are those that are homemade: cookies, packed nicely; homemade fudge or granola (based on a recipe from my brother-in-law that is tops); and handmade beaded ornaments.

Give the gift of food. Donate a bag of nonperishable groceries to Human Resources in Southampton. Or perhaps someone close to you who is struggling with the cost of groceries would welcome a basket containing olive oil, pastas, canned tomatoes or other items that can be made into a variety of meals (maybe throw in a favorite recipe or two).

And among my favorites this year is the gift of friendship. Make a donation to Best Buddies, an organization that is devoted to pairing developmentally disabled individuals with typically developing peers for friendship, usually in school groups. To make a donation to the Best Buddies club at Southampton Intermediate School, call Roseann Gentile at 591-4700, or, to support the club at the state level, go to www.bestbuddiesnewyork.org.

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