Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the soon to be stormy island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this Saturday morning, the 6th day of December, 2014, a quiet morning here at the Hyannis/Hyannis Port Waterfront(s), but that will change soon, as the rains and snows begin to blow in from the west, adding to the charm that is this week end’s “Nantucket Christmas Stroll” where you can enjoy a cocktail or two whilst singing some carols and perhaps having a conversation with a talking tree. But, please, leave your backpack at home, won’t you?
‘The instigators of the original Nantucket Christmas Stroll were merely trying to prevent islanders from escaping to Cape Cod, 30 miles across the Sound, to do their holiday shopping. Rewind to the year 1973, a year when local merchants, in an effort to boost the islands holiday purse, kept shops open late the first Friday in December, inviting locals to holiday shop on-island. That initial stroll, christened by merchants as a “Christmas Shoppers Stroll” (the first black Friday?), a mere three hours in duration, was proclaimed a huge success. Shopkeepers entertained shoppers with wine, hot chocolate, tea, mulled cider, fruitcake, and holiday cookies while they perused crafts, books, clothes and wares, and other holiday gift items. In subsequent years, the event grew exponentially, drawing larger crowds until it became a nationally-and then internationally-renowned holiday event. This years Nantucket Christmas Stroll, with a theme of “A Victorian Christmas”, will feature 160 seven-foot-decorated holiday trees (sporting new, energy saving LED lights sponsored by ReMain Nantucket, not a paid Ad by the way!) mounted throughout the downtown area (right next to the security cameras!). Local artists Deb Sosebee and Donna Elle will decorate the 20-foot “Talking Tree” (Saturday 1-3 p.m., so don’t miss your chance to ask some questions OK?), at the top of Main Street with homemade Victorian-style ornaments. Visitors are encouraged to participate in a Victorian Costume Contest, and winners will be awarded ribbons on the Main Street Stage just before 2 p.m.
I think the statement by “Yesterday’s Island, Today’s Nantucket” speaks for itself. “Tis the season to dress up like Queen Victoria of 19th Century England by golly! Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas Nantucket! I do love thee so… Although, I will be there today to speak with that marvelous tree, asking some points of parliamentary procedure, such as, “…why are you celebrating the “Victorians”, circa 1837-1901? Is it a mirror to the present in 21st Century America? As the Victorian period in Britain was one of huge industrial and technological change, shocking divisions between the rich and poor, sensational crimes, spectacular entertainments for the masses, like you, you ‘talking tree’ you, and grand attempts to combat squalor and disease… Thank you for making it all so clear “Talking Tree”, I hope you too have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year, both you and the rest of the natural world!
PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M