Norman Vincent Peale, author of the best-selling book “The Power of Positive Thinking” once said, “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Christmas most certainly waved its magic wand over Nantucket this week, because everywhere you look there is holiday beauty. Driving through downtown last night, I literally had to stop the car and step outside and remind myself to soak it all in..
These nights remind me of our family’s first Christmas celebration on the island almost 26 years ago. We decided it would be fun to experience the island in the off-season and the kids were excited to hang their stockings by a new chimney with care…and definitely hoping St. Nick could find his way there. We celebrated the holiday in true Nantucket style. We joined a few hundred enthusiastic locals on Main Street late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve for the annual Red Ticket Drawing. After a candlelit Christmas Eve service, we dined on the famed Beef Wellington at The Woodbox. Once the kids were nestled all snug in their beds, the cookies and milk strategically placed where Santa could find them and grandparents comfortably settled in front of the crackling fire, my husband and I decided to take a walk through town..
It was a Nantucket night to remember. As we approached downtown, the fog began to slowly roll in and a chill filled the air. During our stroll, we didn’t see another human being. As we rounded the corner from Liberty to Main, the scene before us was truly magical. Dozens of trees adorned with twinkling lights lined both sides of Main Street. We stood on the steps of the Pacific National Bank and took in the wonder of it all. The foghorn moaned in the distance as the thick white blanket crawled up Main Street and added to the mystique of the evening. When we finally spoke, we whispered. There wasn’t a soul around to hear us, but it seemed sacrilegious to interrupt the moment with noise. Sometimes, words just get in the way.
All these years later, the magic hasn’t waned. Not only is the island beautiful this time of year, but the people are beautiful as well. In an effort to ensure every Nantucket child has the magical Christmas they’re dreaming of, a local organization called “Inky Santa’s Toy Drive” collects toys, gifts and monetary donations to gift to needy families. Their efforts ensured almost 300 kids and 150 families had a Merry Christmas last year. The magic is contagious..
Wherever you find yourself this holiday, I hope you’ll find time to take a quiet stroll with someone you love. If you’re lucky enough to be on Nantucket this weekend for Christmas Stroll or any time this month, I highly recommend a late night trip to the top of Main Street. Admire the thoughtful and festive décor, send up some good wishes for your friends, family and neighbors and embrace the magical beauty of your surroundings. Then join the Inky Santa Drive to help pay the magic forward.
And to all a good night.