26 Dec 2011

A Nantucket Christmas Eve…

Nantucket Christmas Eve

I’m not sure whether it’s the beautiful decorations lining the streets of downtown Nantucket, the dropping temps outside or the thinning crowds as the quiet season sets in, but when I step on to Main Street after a long work day, I feel like I’ve walked into a private winter wonderland. The setting looks like it came right off a Currier and Ives Christmas card. The atmosphere is festive, but quiet. Some nights there are no cars on the street and not a creature is stirring.

These nights remind me of our family’s first Christmas celebration on the island. It was almost 18 years ago, soon after we’d purchased our Nantucket home. 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 were Santa could find them and grandparents comfortably settled in front of the crackling fire, my husband and I decided to take a walk downtown.

It was a Nantucket night to remember. As we walked the 6 blocks to 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 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.

Wherever you find yourself this time of year, I hope you’ll have an opportunity to take a quiet stroll with someone you love. If you’re lucky enough to be here for a Nantucket Christmas Eve or any time during the holidays, 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 silent beauty of your surroundings. From all of us at Lee Real Estate to you and your families – we wish you the happiest of everything this holiday season and throughout the New Year.

And to all a good night.


 Shellie Dunlap





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