Editor's Note: Each year, editor Phyllis Meras creates a Christmas poem for the Vineyard. 

’Twas Christmastime and good St. Nick
Was coming to our bailiwick
From the North Pole region with his deer
Who love the Vineyard — that’s quite clear
St. Nicholas’s deer take great delight
In browsing — they’re a pretty sight
In fields and woods while Santa works,
Delivering gifts and special perks.
This year, he thought that he should land
At the blinker light with his deer band
For browsing’s good
In the neighborhood
But he’d heard at the Pole of a to-do —
Of a roundabout that just a few
Think would be right where two roads cross,
But others fear ’tis an albatross
Where the Edgartown-bound
Will go round and round.
They’ll lose much time in circling about
Just trying to find the right way out.

They’ll be hot and bothered — too tired to swim.
A roundabout seems a costly whim
Yet the MV Commission has deemed it right
For controlling traffic, but they lack foresight.
So it seemed to Santa as he plotted his route
And told his reindeer that they should shoot
For the blinker light greensward as landing field.
He was sure, he said, that traffic would yield
When they saw the deer swooping low in the sky
For they’d know the gifts would come by and by.
“What a pity,” St. Nicholas said with a sigh,
That city folk now are “improving” MV.
It was much better off, as most people can see,
When the towns ran loosely; when roads had bends,
And when laid-back Islanders were (mostly) friends;
When drivers were patient, admiring a view
Even when it meant waiting a minute or two
At a crossroad or stop street in this town or that,
But he couldn’t, he guessed, go up to the bat
For keeping the blinker roads just as they are.

He was sure he’d be told that he came from afar —
That no North Pole dweller should say what to do
On Martha’s Vineyard to me and to you.
His job was gift-giving and it stopped there.
It was time to get on with the gifts of this year.
Walter Delaney got a fire station addition —
For a very long time that’s been his mission,
And Shirley Mayhew, for her new home,
So she no longer will want to roam,
To Myanmar or to Peru
Got comfy chairs and curtains blue.
Ruth Wilcox got a mess of mussels
And Caitlin Jones some sprouts from Brussels.
Then Mike Pease got an Amphicar
So he can travel near and far
On land or sea — t’will be the same
And then there was a new chess game
For Isaac Silber-Parr who is a whiz
With knights and kings. Then a gin-fizz
Was in Santa’s pack for Goethals, Tom
And Madeleine Tully got a pom-pom
To adorn a hat when the cold wind blows.
And Peggy Freydberg got a pink rose.

A ticket to the Azores for Dennis daRosa;
For Oscar Flanders there was a top
And Anna Alley, who likes to shop,
Got a book of free tickets for off-Island jaunts
So she can go to her shopping haunts.
Jim Alley got a Model-A
And then there was for Leslie Gray
A fence to guard her garden green —
When it is full of chard and beans.
Aileen Mahoney got a baby doll
And Katie Carroll some Christmas balls
For the holiday parties that are her thing
And to so many delight do bring.
Chris Fischer got a rabbit hutch
So he, with them, can keep in touch.
Then Paul Magid got great book sales
And Ivory Littlefield a boat with sails.
Then Harold Hill caught a great big fish
To put into a favorite dish.
There were tulip bulbs for Jennifer Mead
And for Ann Burt there was birdseed.

Sal Monteiro got a chocolate cake.
And for Ruth Stiller should she want to take
A trip to Israel, Santa had made plans.
So many Islanders visit foreign lands.
Then Marjorie Peirce got a new home
So that she will no longer roam.
While Evelyn Dengler got Christmas blooms
And Hunter Parker a toy cannon that booms.
Barbara Francis got lobster stew
And Lincoln Hanson got some, too.
And then there was an eager buyer
Even though the economy is dire
For Corinne Moran’s inviting home
While Avi Lev got a load of loam.
Mark Mazer got new houses to build,
For Helmer Peutthoff Riesling, chilled.
Amanda Dickinson got swimming goggles.
For Myrtle Case there were some toggles
To sew on pea coats if the need arises,
Then for Edo Potter to add to her prizes
Were accolades from all Chappy folk.

While Mark Hurwitz got some antique oak
For the work he does in restoration.
“Auntie” Anna Duarte got a spiffy new car.
For Joe McConnell who comes from afar
Was high-speed Internet that would work well
Deep in the woods, on a beach, in a dell.
Then for Joe Costa was a model airplane
While Fred Fisher Jr. got plenty of grainTo feed to his horses before hayrides

And Margaret Knight got insecticides
To keep the mosquitoes far at bay,
And then there was for Nelson, Gay
Daisies and snapdragons in a bouquet.
For Marie Doebler there was a piglet
While Suzan Bellincampi got an eaglet
To fly about at Felix Neck,
And next there was a sizeable check
In Santa’s sack for Kramer, Beth.
So big it was it took her breath
It will help out so with library expansion.
In West Tisbury there may soon be a mansion
For housing its books, its computers and things.
Then Trudy Taylor got a bird that sings.
Catherine Buck got complaisant cats
And Barack Obama Democrats
To be in his corner next election year.
For the Walsh brothers was hockey gear.

Then Jason Cournoyer got a new dirt bike
For the off-Island races that he so likes,
For Carol Magee were new ballet slippers
And they will really make her chipper.
For Mabelle Medowski there were tasty sweets —
Chocolate chip cookies with nut meats.
Carrie Potter got packets of seeds
To brighten the garden she keeps free of weeds.
And Nicki Miller got a Microplane
That she can use again and again.
For Billy Dias, there were stones for walls;
For the Allen Farm there were plenty of squalls
So the turbine would spin and make lots of power.
And then for Joe Tobin was a Gravely mower.
Jeremy Smith got one of those, too,
For all of the lawn work he likes to do.
Tom Hodgson got a load of holly and ivy
So Tisquam Road will look really jivey.
Then Taylor Ives got a black top hat
And Lynn Christoffers her very own cat.
Tony Lombardi got guitars
So the young in his charge can play ’neath the stars.
Then Evelyn O’Brien got a Delavan trip
While for Tim Carroll was a trip by ship
Where’ere in the world he’d like to go,
His trip to East Europe he did like so.
Then Betty Eddy got a chauffeur.
And Connie Scott a coat of squirrel fur
While for Holly Coyne there were pears tasty
And catnip mice for Runner, Hasty
Who has a cat that likes to play.
And then there was for that Greene, Fay,
Lobster aplenty for fine Island dining
While in Santa’s pack, since they like reclining,
Was a chaise lounge for the Plakins pair,
Naomi and Ava, when they’re here.
Dr. Bob Franklin got best wishes
And Jennifer Goeckel another set of dishes.
For Robert Fountain there came, at last,
Chappy TV service, courtesy of Comcast.
And for R.M. Packer in Santa’s sack
Was his own oil rig, and a tasty snack
For Lemi Marshall when he comes to see
His Potts grandparents in West Tisbury.

There were new riding boots for Stephen Caliri
While Megan McDonald got something cheery —
Crayons and chalk will be her delight.
There were candy canes striped all red and white
For Joanne Rice and Ted Meinelt.
And then Tom Thatcher got a beaded belt.
For Bobby Carroll were prime parking spots,
All across Edgartown, not just in lots.
Peg Goodale got a warm fleece jacket
And Bob Douglas an oldtime packet.
Then Pickle Eville got a big blue bow
That goes with her curls that grow below.
Cynthia Mitchell got a ticket to France,
And for Coco Brown there was — by chance —
One just like it in Santa’s pack,
And since, for traveling, she has a knack
She’ll go from there to other far places.
For Edward Hewett who likes horse races
Was free admission to Kentucky’s Derby.
There were motorcycle gloves to please Pierce Kirby.
The Seccombe children, Ciara and James,
Got return tickets and plenty of games
To keep them happy when they fly back
From way Down Under with their haversacks
To see their friends in Vineyard Haven.
Then for Lord Foster there was a raven
To join the herons at his new farm.
At the Tower of London, ravens bring a charm —
They guard Great Britain from terrible harm —
May the same be the case at the Foster place
For that should surely please His Grace.

Now Alison Mead got toys galore
For her cat, Kitty, who plays on the floor.
Then Garrett Orazem got Farm Institute lamb
To go in his pasties, while there was plum jam
For Lulu Kaye when she comes from New York,
While Corey Dean got a gift of cork
For fashioning items, which she likes to do.
Then Barbara Fenner for her meatloaf and stew
Got parsley and basil and oregano, too,
While for Mark Crossland and his crew
There were accolades for the Christmas décor
In Ocean Park above the shore
And in Sunset Lake where a cheery tree
Is lit up at night for all to see.
Then Shealyn Smythe got a baby sister
And Andrea Hartman gold that glisters
For her jewelry pieces of fine design
That really are the top of the line.

There was a notebook for Ewing, Steve,
Who always has a new poem up his sleeve
With no place to keep them, a notebook was swell.
It was also thanks for his work on the bell
At the Whaling Church, which is now just right
And rings, as it should both day and night.
And then there was for Maxner, Steve
A safe house for sharks, and for Joan Reeves
Were restaurant coupons since she likes dining out;
She’ll make good use of them, without a doubt.
Then Wyatt Jenkinson got skis
And plenty of dog treats for Connie Breese.
Dave Pritchard got a new warm kilt
For cold days in Vermont and a patchwork quilt
Should he quit the Vineyard in dismay
Because old Edgartown just isn’t the way
That it used to be when the town took care
To always assure there were old homes there
With their old-fashioned chimneys and creaky doors
And decorative moldings and wide-planked floors.

For Richard Rice there was Christmas cheer
While Katherine Long got a chanticleer
To join the flock of birds she treasures
And the cats she loves almost without measure.
There were sugared pecans to please Pat Brown
Who lives in the heart of Edgartown.
For the Vineyard Playhouse new windows came
To please M.J. Munafo who’s brought such fame
To Island theatre and deserves acclaim.
And Olga Hirshhorn got a boule ball
While Carol Craven, who since this fall
Has made the Vineyard her year-round home,
Got for her garden a rich load of loam.
Diamond Vanderhoop got a pail
For feed for the horses she tends without fail.
While Rhianna Schann got an audition
That might bring her dream right to fruition;
To sing on stage is her great joy,
And Gideon Smith got a baby toy
While Edie Blake got a blue merle collie,
A gift that will make her very jolly.

For Eulalie Regan was a candy cane
And for Eileen Hathaway there was the same.
Then for Jane Seagrave, who yearns for scallops —
The way she cooks them they pack wallops —
Was a peep sight for scouring Cape Pogue Pond.
Of shellfish her husband is especially fond,
But it’s hard finding scallops in waters murky.
And then there was for Stephen Durkee
A basket for berries he likes pickin’
While for Dianne Powers there was a fat chicken
From Cleveland Road Farm where the birds grow large.
And St. Nicholas had for Rogers, Marj
Tidbits for her cats when they catch all the mice
While Valmir Barbosa got a bag of rice.
And Shari Foiles got a night of dancing.
By then the reindeer were bounding and prancing.
For they’d eaten their fill on the Land Bank land
That may soon be gone for a purpose not grand —
That could turn to macadam, and trees be felled
Though many a Vineyarder has yelled
About the distressing roundabout scheme.
And hoped, indeed, ’twas all a bad dream.

Then the reindeer were ready to fly in the sky
And St. Nick was saying his annual goodbye
To his Islander friends on the ground down below
As up in the air the reindeer did go.
Looking down from the sled, he could see in the distance
The tent rental service of Sandra Lippens.
He waved to her warmly and shouted “Heigh Ho.”
He hoped, for her sake, that all down below
Would stay just as it’s been for so long a time
T’would make her feel then, once again, quite sublime.
Santa heaved a great sigh and he called on his way
That he hoped she’d still be there next Christmas Day.
And as he and his reindeer flew way out of sight
He was telling them how he hoped all would be right
Between Islanders for and those who oppose
And the roundabout battle would happily close.