We can never forget we live on an island. On Nantucket, we’re thirty miles from the continent. We’re surrounded by the cold, dark, uncaring sea. Christmas on the island wraps us in the love of family (even the irritating relatives, and don’t we all have some of those?), love of friends, new love and new life. On Nantucket, Christmas means sharing the feast and the laughter with those who come to this far-away island.
We start celebrating the day after Thanksgiving, with the annual tree-lighting ceremony on Main Street. Next come the Festival of Wreaths and the Festival of Trees, and the wonderful Christmas Stroll.
Santa arrives by Coast Guard boat, and the town crier in top hat leads him to the historic Jared Coffin House to greet the children. Carolers in Victorian dress serenade us as we stroll around town. We can have a book autographed by some of the island’s many writers at a special signing at Mitchell’s Book Corner.
We enjoy Christmas parties, holiday theater, and inspiring choral performances.
We open presents on Christmas morning. Some of the presents are books!
We have festive dinners with friends and never curse aloud when we take the S)&#&^# Christmas geese from the oven and spill a drop of goose grease on our leg! No, we are serene and elegant.
When the parties are over and the wind howls over the island at gale force, we keep our candles and matches nearby. Then I like to curl up with a cat in my lap and a book in my hand. Soon, I’ll post a list of my favorite, read-over-again December stories.