Nantucket Noel

My wife and I agree that this Christmas has been our favorite one together, which is rather ironic given that we are several hundred miles from family and friends on an island thirty miles out to sea. One contributing factor is that winter here strips away the distractions of life and helps us to focus on the reason for the season: the incarnation of Christ. Another factor is that we are living in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, particularly during the holidays.

For its part, Nantucket has several hundred colonial-era buildings, more than anywhere else in America, a fact made all the more astonishing when you consider that many more were lost in an epic fire. Add to the historic buildings the cobblestone streets, old-fashioned lampposts, and traditional decorations of evergreen trees and wreaths with white lights and candles, and you experience a holiday dreamscape capable of soothing even the most jaded of holiday shoppers.

And speaking of shopping, its absence in our lives was another major contributor to our holiday bliss this year. With our yearlong downscaling of possessions, whereby we gave most of our stuff to friends and family before moving here, shopping wasn’t a big deal. As for us, we had bought each other several gifts before the holidays as the need arose so we simply exchanged a couple of gifts on the day of Christmas. The only thing missing was the snow that was forecast but failed to fall.