02 Dec 2014

All Dolled Up On Nantucket

Who can forget the image of Clark Griswold’s illuminated house in National Lampoon’s box office hit Christmas Vacation. With lights strung from front to back, rooftop to cellar, the extravagant “masterpiece” had Aunt Bethany asking, “Is your house on fire Clark?” To which Clark (played by the hilarious and unforgettable Chevy Chase) responded, “No Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.” The Griswold family’s outrageous antics and disastrous bumbles left us howling with laughter (because we can all relate at some level), but they also reminded us that it’s ok to go a little over the top with our holiday entertaining.

Nobody does “over the top” better than Nantucket Island. Which is why it was no surprise when Travel and Leisure recently named Nantucket one of America’s Top 10 Best Towns For The Holidays. The only mystery, of course, is why it was Number 4 vs Number 1. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I love that our island pulls out all the stops for its residents and guests. From the wreath on the Brant Point Lighthouse, to the little holiday tree in the Sunken Ship dinghy in the harbor, no detail is left unattended.

Last week, the island holiday season was officially rung in with the Festival of Wreaths. Hosted by the NHA and held at the Nantucket Whaling Museum, the evening drew a huge crowd of revelers who were treated to a display of unique and elaborately decorated holiday wreaths and some delicious lite bites as well. The festivities really picked up steam with the annual tree lighting and community caroling on Friday. With the island dolled up in her holiday best, our eyes are now turned toward the upcoming Christmas Stroll weekend and the arrival of Santa and his Mrs. on the Coast Guard Cutter on Saturday and then ongoing events throughout the month culminating with the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce red ticket drawing on Christmas Eve.

As with any event or celebration, all the thoughtful details are intended to do more than create a splashy presentation or make a big impression on the guests. In the same way my family and friends are pampered with the good china, best linens and favorite bottle of wine during holiday celebrations, Nantucket businesses and organizations go over the top to ensure everyone is treated like an honored guest. In the end, the décor and holiday displays look enchanting, but it’s the people of Nantucket whose efforts and spirit create a magical experience for one and all…and why there may be no better place in America to spend the holidays.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to get dolled up in your holiday attire and get in the Christmas spirit, look no further than Nantucket Island. Sample some of the holiday menu items at The Proprietor’s Bar and Table or The Boarding House, pick up some gift items at Nalu or Current Vintage and then stop by the new Handlebar Café to warm up with a piping mug of java. Let the Gray Lady treat you to her holiday finest.

She’s a doll.

Shellie Dunlap - A Nantucket Experience

Shellie Dunlap

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