Christmas is the most wonderful, magical time of the year. The spirit of the holiday season is in the air and people from all different walks of life come together to celebrate the season. For those of us fortunate enough to live in a winter climate, the sight of snow lining the bare treetops makes the magic come alive even more. This year, Nantucket has once again been graced with an abundance of snow, turning the island into a veritable Winter Wonderland by the sea.
The holiday season in Nantucket, affectionately known as Nantucket Noel, starts off with a beloved holiday traditions that we have already mentioned in an earlier post, The Annual Christmas Stroll. This event takes place in the first week of December, and features an open-air European-style Advent market, warm snacks with hot cider and coco, visits from Santa, and traditional Victorian caroling. This event is the kickoff to Nantucket Noel, which continues on until Dec. 31st.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a Christmas tree. Christmas trees are a relatively new tradition in the United States, and if a letter written in 1858 by a Nantucket native visiting Philadelphia is an indication, it was still an uncommon sight in the homes of native islanders. Since that time, however, Nantucket has not only adopted the Christmas tree but also lofted it to new heights. The day after Thanksgiving, hundreds of people gather together on main street for the annual tree lighting ceremony where 100 Christmas trees are lit up to usher in the start of the Christmas season. The lighting ceremony is accompanied by local chorus groups singing traditional carols and leading the community in a sing-along. The humble tree is further venerated at the Festival of Trees, taking place from Dec. 6th to the 31st. The Nantucket Whaling Museum is transformed as roughly eighty Christmas trees are on display, each one decorated by local artists, merchants, nonprofit organizations, and schoolchildren.
Another of the highly anticipated traditions this time of year is the annual Red Ticket Drawing. Residents and charities have been collecting a red ticket for every $25 spent at over 80 participating local businesses, culminating in a raffle drawing at 3:00 pm at the top of Main Street. Five lucky winners will receive $1000 each and a single grand prize winner will receive $5000, enough to put some holiday cheer into even the meanest Scrooge.
If you’re looking for the perfect gift to get your loved ones (and maybe for yourself too – go ahead, we won’t tell!), look no further than Nantucket Brand. We have a wide range of madras, seersucker, and faded “Nantucket” red clothing and apparel, and if you’re on the island we invite you to visit our physical store in the historic downtown area of Federal Street. The store features all the items found on our website, as well a few can’t-miss exclusives that can only be found in our store. We also have another store dedicated to gorgeous, nautical-themed home décor and gift items, The Emporium of Nantucket which also features a convenient downtown location. Of course, if online shopping is your thing our stores offer a comprehensive range of gift items, neatly arranged for easy browsing with our Holiday Gift Guide.
Whether you’re on the island of Nantucket or sitting on a tropical shore somewhere, from all of us here at the Nantucket Brand family we wish you Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!