10 Fun & Festive Things To Do During Nantucket’s Home for the Holidays Event

Tomorrow, Saturday, December 13, the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce has organized a fun and festive Home for the Holidays event.  Dozens of merchants will greet shoppers with refreshments and special sales, and they’ll give out two red tickets (twice the usual number) for every $25 spent in their store.  The red tickets are part of the Nantucket Island Chamber’s annual Red Ticket Drawing for thousands of dollars on December 24.  Your holiday shopping on Nantucket could result in a nice gift for “Santa” on Christmas Eve!

In addition to Saturday’s shopping extravaganza, there are fairs, theatre, crafts, strolling carolers, a cooking demonstration, a nature walk, movies, music, a visit with Santa for the little ones, holiday displays, and more — not all of them downtown.  Here are a few of our favorite events, for the rest, visit our Nantucket Calendar of Events.

Start the day at Nantucket High School, where December Delight (the senior class fundraiser) is offering early bird entry at 8 am to this fun and festive sale with lots of opportunities to Shop Local in one stop!

Baking Bread with Josh Norton on Nantucket

Learn to bake bread with Josh Norton at Nantucket’s Bartlett Farm.

Learn to bake bread with Bartlett Farm’s talented bread baker Josh Norton in the Hayloft from 10 am to 11 am.  He’ll share tips and tricks for perfect bread at home, and he willshare samples of his delicious recipe for herbed foccacia. There’s no charge for this event, and free coffee, tea, and farm-baked goodies will also be available!

Between 10 am and 4 pm, visit the Nantucket Historical Association’s Festival of Trees to see 90 gorgeously decorated holiday trees staged throughout this world-class museum.

Then walk to the Methodist Church at 2 Centre Street to see “No Room at the Inn,” an annual Christmast exhibit of more than 100 exquisite creches from around the world displayed in the candlelit sanctuary. Suggested donation of $6 benefits the Nantucket Rental Assistance Program.

Cinderella by Theatre Workshop of Nantucket

Cinderella by Theatre Workshop of Nantucket; photo by Pixel Perfect

Add some magic to the season with Theatre Workshop of Nantucket’s professional performance of the musical Cinderella at 1 pm and again at 5 pm in Bennett Hall, 62 Centre Street.  Tickets at TheatreWorkshop.com or call the box office at 508-228-4305.

Join the Linda Loring Nature Foundation staff for  Ducks at Dusk from 2:30 pm. These charismatic waterfowl have been behaving unpredictably for the past two winters so nothing is guaranteed except a good chance to see some waterfowl near dusk. Meet at the LLNF at 110 Eel Point Road, and then carpool. Dress appropriately for the wind and weather. $10 fee.

From 3 to 5 pm, Epernay is hosting a Home for the Holidays Wine Tasting. Indulge in a selection of American red wines sure to impress your guests at your next holiday gathering. 1 N Beach Street, near the White Elephant and the Nantucket Hotel. Parking in Back. www.epernayfinewine.com. 508.228.2755

Enjoy great music and great beer at Nantucket’s Cisco Brewery.  The fun starts at 1:30, with Ami Yares performing “Americana music born in the wilds of Southern New Jersey and steeped in the bewilderment of the Middle East.”  At 4:30 pm, one of the island’s favorite bands, 4 EZ Payments will perform.  Then, at 7 pm, head over to Kitty Murtagh’s at 4 West Creek Road for more live music, featuring Sean Lee, along with some tasty Irish fare.  Then, at 10 pm, the Rose & Crown hosts the Audio Architects so you can dance the night away.

Nantucket.net Photo Contest Tree

Nantucket.net Photo Contest Tree

You won’t want to miss the NHA’s Night of Holiday Magic. From 5 to 8 pm, this annual event features music, storytelling, and holiday crafts set against the backdrop of the beautiful Festival of Trees. During the final portion of the program, the museum lights will be lowered and guests will be invited to stroll through the museum to enjoy the shimmering trees in the Whaling Museum, 13 Broad St.

14 Things to Do on a Rainy Nantucket Christmas Stroll Saturday

So it’s raining on Christmas Stroll Saturday…it’s not windy; it’s not cold; and there’s plenty of fun and festive indoor activities during this Nantucket holiday.  Here are 14 ideas on what you can do on a rainy Stroll Saturday:

1. Start the day with Eggs Benedict at Arno’s on Main Street or Finnan Haddie at Island Kitchen or a hearty omelette at Crosswinds.

2. Find a one-of-a-kind gift from a Nantucket craftsperson to put under the tree at the Christmas Stroll Craft Show, upstairs at 11 Centre Street.  And say HI to Sarah Morneau while you’re there.

3. Learn the history of the Nantucket Lightship Baskets, watch weaving demonstrations, and enjoy refreshments at the Annual Basket Festival & Sale in the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum at 49 Union Street.

4. Enjoy a mid morning pick-me-up in the form of a Vanilla Latte from Nantucket Coffee Roasters or a Chai Charger from The Handlebar Cafe.

5. Stop into Sosebee Fine Art Studio & Gallery at 8 Washington Street for some Christmas treats, to meet artists Deb and Doug, and enter the raffle for a giclee.

6. Stroll down Old South Wharf and sign up for their raffle to win a basketful of prizes — everything you need for under the tree!  While you’re there, buy this year’s Nantucket Christmas Stroll ornament from Made on Nantucket, see Pete’s fantastic and colorful fish prints, and buy a couple of hostess gifts for the holiday parties you’re about to attend from Abigail Fox.

7. Now do the same at Straight Wharf!  These merchants are also hosting a raffle — you can sign up in every shop and enjoy refreshments along the way.  One of our Must-Have Nantucket gifts is the Rainbow Pearl Bracelet from the Nantucket Pearl Company tucked inside the G.S. HIll Gallery.  Be sure to buy this year’s warm and cozy Stroll Scarf from the Authentic Boat Basin shop before they run out. And if there is a little one in your life, then it would be a crime to miss a visit to The Toy Boat, where Loren sells unique and handcrafted toys for every age (so much better than the plastic garbage at Big Box stores).

8. Stop for a bite to eat at BACK-Yard BBQ on this last weekend of their season or head over to Easy Street Cantina for Bart’s amazing Lobster Newburg that he makes only for special holidays like Stroll!.

9. Wander over to the Appreciation Party being hosted in Hostetler Gallery, 42 Centre Street, and enjoy the sculpture of David Hostetler, live music by Robert Walder, and Bloody Marys “Susan Style.”

10. Stop by The Dreamland Theatre for their Open House and crafts for the kids, free hot chocolate, and special performances by the Nantucket Puppet Players, every hour on the half hour between 10:30am and 1:30pm. 17 South Water Street

11. Meet authors and get your books signed by Nancy Thayer, Peter Brace, Elin Hilderbrand, Nathaniel Philbrick, and more throughout the day at Mitchell’s Book Corner on Main Street. (for specific times visit http://nantucket.net/events/index.php

12. Meet jewelry designer Diana Kim England and find something sparkly for the special woman in your life (hint, hint) in The Jeweler’s Gallery, 21 Centre Street

13. Visit the Festival of Trees in the Nantucket Whaling Museum on Broad Street, where more than 90 adorned evergreens transform this world-class museum into a winter wonderland.

14. Stroll over to the Susan Lister Locke Gallery at 28 Easy Street for holiday cheer & wine and cheese.

And in between the raindrops, the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce (organizers of the Nantucket Christmas Stroll) have organized live entertainment on Main Street, an outdoor market in the downtown Stop-n-Shop parking lot, the arrival of Santa by boat along Straight Wharf at noon, and the Talking Tree at the top of Main Street from 1

For even more event listings for Nantucket Christmas Stroll weekend, visit http://nantucket.net/events/index.php  and Happy Strolling!

Nantucket Thrift Shop Makes a Record-Breaking Donation to NCH

The Nantucket Cottage Hospital Thrift Shop has donated $250,000 to Nantucket Cottage Hospital (NCH), the largest gift in its 85-year history on the island.

The generosity of the island community and the dedication of the Hospital Thrift Shop’s board, staff and volunteers combined in 2014 to generate this extraordinary, record-setting donation to NCH, which includes the first installment of a major gift toward the construction of a new hospital on Nantucket.

The Hospital Thrift Shop sells merchandise donated by island residents and visitors – anything from books to furniture to artwork – from late May through mid-October, and operates as a separate non-profit organization.

This year’s $250,000 gift has been designated for four specific purposes, including: $150,000 toward the goal of an eventual $500,000 donation to the NCH capital campaign, Building Our Future, Committed to Care, for the construction of a new hospital; $75,000 for equipment needed for a new primary care office space within the hospital; $15,000 to the NCH Social Services Department; and $10,000 to Palliative & Supportive Care of Nantucket (PASCON) for the Marla Lamb Cancer Travel Fund.

Catherine S. Ward, the President of the Thrift Shop’s Board of Directors, presented the checks to Nantucket Cottage Hospital President and CEO Dr. Margot Hartmann in late November.

Nantucket Hospital Thrift Shop opening.

Nantucket Hospital Thrift Shop opening.

“Once again the Hospital Thrift Shop has generously donated a significant gift that will benefit island patients both now and in the future,” Hartmann said. “These contributions will allow us to maximize the time we have left in this building, and also represent an investment in the future of health care on Nantucket with the extraordinary gift to the capital campaign.”

“The new hospital represents one of the most important projects for the island community for generations to come, and we’re proud to be able to contribute to this critical endeavor,” Ward said. “We also recognized the need for Dr. Hartmann and her team to reconfigure the existing hospital to better serve patients, particularly in the area of primary care, and are pleased to be able to help NCH meet this goal as well.”

The Thrift Shop was founded in 1929 when a group of dedicated volunteers came together to provide affordable clothes and household goods to the island community. Its first gift to the hospital that year was $603. Since that first donation, the Thrift Shop has contributed more than $3.9 million to the hospital during its 85 years of operation, a legacy of generosity that has benefited NCH in many ways, from new radiology and lab equipment, to a remodeled dialysis unit and new furnishings for patient rooms.

Remembering another Thanksgiving Nor’easter on Nantucket

As I watch the rain fall today and listen to forecasts for high wind and a Thanksgiving nor’easter, I remember another stormy Thanksgiving on Nantucket 31 years ago.

In 1983, my husband and I were planning a quiet Thanksgiving on Nantucket.  Our families were hundreds of miles away in Pennsylvania, so we both agreed to work extra shifts at the Jared Coffin House to cover for our co-workers who were headed off-island for the holidays.

The morning before Thanksgiving, I was feeling a bit uncomfortable.  I was 8 months pregnant with my first child, and I did not know what to expect.  I called my doctor’s office, but he was off-island for the holiday.  The hospital referred me to another island doctor, who agreed to see me.  “Well, looks like I’ll be seeing you again in a couple of hours,” he told me after the exam.

I headed home to let my husband know I was in labor and to tell Phil Read that not only could I not cover the shifts, but that I would also be missing mine and Jerry would miss his.  The Reads and our co-workers who were still on-island juggled their holiday schedules and doubled up their shifts to accommodate the arrival of our baby girl, born at 2 am Thanksgiving morning.

Taryn BabyI’m thankful for my daughter Jessica Taryn who was born Thanksgiving Day on Nantucket in a nor’easter like the one we are experiencing now, for all our friends and coworkers who sacrificed their holiday for us, and to Dr. Vorhees and the nurses at Nantucket Cottage Hospital who helped us celebrate.

Happy Thanksgiving!