’Twas Christmas Eve and Santa Claus
Was readying for his trip

To see his Vineyard friends, of course,
But traveling not by ship
Nor ferry boat nor freight boat
Nor on the Island Queen
He comes by air each Christmastide
Thanks to his reindeer team
Who fly him through the sky at night
When all the world’s asleep
From North Pole climes where snow, of course,
Is feet, not inches deep.
As daylight came, he had to find
A place to land his crew
That through the sky at nighttime —
The way they always do
Had pulled his sleigh across the sky
And over Vineyard Sound
And then they were — as dawn broke
Right over Island ground.
St. Nick looked down below him
To see where they could land
And saw Katama beaches
And thought that they’d be grand
For setting down his sleigh of gifts
For his good friends below

Mark Lovewell

But then from out of nowhere
There came a mighty blow.
An onshore wind picked up the sleigh
And when it put it down
It wasn’t where ’twas planned to be
But was in Edgartown
The wind was fierce and tossed the sleigh
High in the sky, then down
And when it landed, there it was
Right in the heart of town
South Water street was where it hit
And near the very spot
Where grows the tree that made its way
Brought in a flower pot
From China centuries ago and now has grown so tall
It is indeed a wonder
To townsfolk and to all.
Pagoda Tree its name is
A delight for all to see
But its future was in question
Until there was a plea
From dedicated townsfolk
To guard the age-old tree
Its roots had been in danger
From building on their site
But that work has now been cancelled
And the future is most bright
For the Sophora Japonica
That Captain Milton brought
So long ago to Edgartown
And to the very spot
Where Santa and his reindeer
Were forced by winds to land
When they were headed elsewhere
To a smooth Katama strand.
But there they were, so Santa
Went busily to work
Unpacking all his presents


First there was for the town clerk,
Whose name is Wanda Williams
And whose Cody is of note
A bag of doggie biscuits
That should surely make him gloat.
Then Jake and Sarah Davis
Got a fluffy ruffled duck
And there was for Spencer Booker
Gaming table luck
Should Aquinnah get the gambling
Some folk think it really should
(Though Spencer’s not among them;
He doubts that ’twould be good.)
Joyce Bowker got some fishnet hose
For wearing on nights out
And Trudy Taylor a red rose
And Prudy Burt a trout

Ivy Ashe

Then Rusty Gordon got a cat
’Twas sleek and very, very black.
And with it came a witch’s hat
Since Halloween is big for him
A spooky time,
But nothing grim.
Then Judy Worthington got a prize
For her grand garden
And her pies.
And Linda Alley
Got blueberries
And all she wanted
Of red cherries
She’ll turn them both
Into her jam
Then for Bob Schwartz
Was a leg of lamb.
And Lynie Bernardin
Got gold knitting needles
While for Johnny Hoy
Were some songs of the Beatles.
Then Janet Holladay got red tap shoes
And the Dan Martinos
Who like to cruise
Had in Santa’s sack Caribbean tickets
While Cynthia Bloomquist
Got some pickets
To build a fence to protect her veggies

Next there came for that Greene, Reggie
Smooth waters for rowing
And some of those, too,
For Melinda Loberg
And that rowing crew
Who pull at their oars in every season
In Vineyard Haven
For no special reason
Except that they like
To row and to row
They even go out
In the rain and the snow.
Luanne Johnson got new otter trails
And Paula Sullivan
Who deals with mails
Had a fishing boat in Santa’s bag
From which she’ll surely
Be able to snag
Fish of all sorts,
When she’s free of work
After retirement
’Twill be quite a perk

Tony Rezendes got a fishing boat, too
From it he’ll be certain
To catch quite a few
Tasty delights from the deep blue seas,
With his grandson Nathan
On their fishing sprees.
Then Cathy Merrill got a sunny vacation
It was far away
From her usual location
At the Vineyard Vet Clinic
Where she likes to be
But she also enjoys
A bit of a spree
And taking time out
For biscuits and tea . . .
Mike Berger got a hard-topped Jeep
While there were for Mike Jacobs
A few more sheep.

Alison L. Mead

Next there was for Gail Tipton
A Tanglewood trip
And then for Tom Thatcher
Was a sturdy grip
To take on his travels
Here and there —
Japan or Missouri —
Who knows where?
Carmine Cerone got a jar of mustard
Creamy and golden
Just like a custard
But with some snap
And plenty of bite —
Dusseldorf? Dijon?
Both are all right.
Then for Susan Crampton
Was a sprig of holly
And for Bob Day
Who’s kept so jolly
Though Barbara’s been stuck
In a hospital room
He’s kept up his cheer
And now she’s come home.

For Jerry Goodale
There were more solar panels
While, of course, Mev Good
Got some warm flannels
To go with the books
He likes to read
And Glenna Moore
Got crystal beads
To string on her tree
On Christmas Day
They surely should make
The day quite gay.
Next, Duncan MacDonald
Got some heather
And Phinnaeus Mead
A new turkey feather.
And Heidi Raihofer
Got razor clams
And Marjory Potts
Had jars of jam
To go with the bread
She likes to bake
And then Jim Moore
Got more elk steak.
Next, for Rick Karney
There was a rare pearl
That was fit for a king
Or a duke or an earl,

Deborah Buress got a croquet mallet
While for Marjorie Peirce
There were plenty of shallots
For all of the dishes she likes to prepare
For community suppers
With such great care.
And Maisie Greenberg
Got Milkbone treats
She’s sure to enjoy
When she warmly greets
The clients who come to the Greenberg home
To do exercises
And lie on foam
Till their aches and their pains
All do get better
And Samuel Feldman got
A special letter
From New York’s mayor
For his marathon run,
Which, though Sam’s past 80
He found to be fun.

Mark Lovewell

In Santa’s sack were poinsettia plants
For the Douglas Tatreaus
While for Anne Ganz
There were pens and ink
For the cartoons she draws
And for Connie Scott
Who knows a lot about laws
Was a tip on races at Saratoga.
Then Sal Laterra
Got lessons in polka.
And Jim Kinsella got
A bumper crop
Of juicy tomatoes that never rot
While Eleanor Waldron
For Nutmeg, the cat
Got a catnip mouse
Next, in West Tisbury
There was a house
For Bradley Cortez
To make him happy
While Peter Nessen
Who always looks snappy
Got more Island visits

And for Edie Blake
Were gold croquet wickets.
Fit for a sheik.
Then Anne Vanderhoop got
An alpaca wrap
To keep her warm
When she takes a nap.
Ryleigh Jane Manning
Got a big baby doll
And next, Santa had
For that Carrick, Paul
Holly and ivy
And all things good,
While Peggy Freydberg
As she should
Got some of the same
At this holiday time —
She who’s so adept
At prose and at rhyme.
Now St. Nicholas’s deer
Were pawing the street
They’d had a long trip
Without much to eat
And in old Edgartown
There wasn’t much grass
For reindeer to nibble
Even though there were bass.
But they’re not for reindeer

So they asked to fly high
To where grass would be growing
And they took to the sky
And made their next landfall
On Mill Pond land
For there in West Tisbury
Grazing was grand.
Santa’s sack still was full
Of gifts of all sorts
To please Wyatt Jenkinson
Who does so like sports
Was a new hockey helmet
For when he plays.
While for Becky Sanders’s
Fine horse to appraise
Was a bushel of hay
That Sunday could munch
And the deer, meanwhile,
Were having their lunch
By the old police station
Where green grass grows
And where ducks were bobbing
As everyone knows
They do on the Mill Pond
When water is there
Then the swans and the otters
Have nary a care
But some folks would like
To have it all turn to swamp
With no place for children
To sun and to romp.
So for Nancy Dole
Who would like so to see
The pond kept a pond
For eternity
There was a nice plaque
That told the story
Of the old Mill Pond
In its days of glory
When the mill made
The whole day long
Satinette cloth
For quite a throng
Of stylish folk
Who lived long ago.
There were mousetraps next
Meant for Gil Traverso.

Ivy Ashe

Then Broderick, Steve
Got a new tool box
An elegant one that really locks
And Susan Wade
Got a bright gold star
That surely will shine
Both near and far
For good deeds she does
For those in distress
Who otherwise
Would be in a mess.
There were toasty warm sweaters
For Albert Rose
While for Danny Meaney
There were Doritos.
And then there was
For that Young, Charles
Who never, ever
With anyone quarrels.
A wondrous cruise
On a splendid ship.
There was a new van
For Isaiah Phillips
And Connie Shanor
Got a bouquet of tulips.

Then Sara Brown
Got a live heath hen —
Something to write about —
While for Glenn
Hearn was a tractor
To keep him happy
And for Jan Pogue
Was a bathing suit snappy
For the trip to Mexico
That she is planning
And then there was
To please June Manning
A purple shawl
For over her shoulders
While Steve Lewenberg
Got legal folders
Then young Hank Scott
Got his own bike
While Jane McTeigue
Who likes to hike
Got some fine boots
To keep her warm.
Then Madison Curelli
Got a charm
And Adriana got one, too
In Santa’s sack,
There were quite a few

Timothy Johnson

Next Brett Rose’s dogs
Got bones to chew.
And B. McGourty
Got a Jacuzzi
It’s not a name brand
Since he’s not choosy
While Nancy Pritchard
Got baked stuffed shrimp
And for Snow Corwin,
That sweet little imp,
There was a onesie
That fits just right
And so does make her
An adorable sight.
Then Hilda Backus
Got a romance novel
And Peter Palches
A new snow shovel
To dig his way out
From his deep woods house
When it’s snowy in winter
And the deer browse.
Then for Gail Barmakian
There were running shoes
And for Chuck Minnich
A sunny cruise

Next Kevin Searle
Got more Christmas lights
The best there are
They shine so bright.
While Alice Hanjian
Got commuter bus tickets
To take her to Boston
Through rain, snow and thickets.
And for Susan Strain
There was passage to Turkey
Even though right now
Life there’s a bit murky.
Then Anne Osmundsen
Got a house buyer
And Crystal Ewart
A humidifier
As a housewarming gift
That could be quite dandy
And Nancy Cramer
Got some brandy
To celebrate on her retirement
Though still she will
Be making garments
That she will sell
From out of a trunk
While for Roe Belain
Was the novel, The Monk.
Then for Paul Levine
Was a new laboratory
For doing work
That’s not at all gory.

A jigsaw puzzle
Was the gift
For Rick Saint
‘Twill give him a lift
And then Ed Pierce
Got a new plaid kilt
And Cindy Meisner
A nice down quilt
For warming up
After shoveling snow
On days when the weather
Is well below
What it ought to be
On a winter day
When the wind blows hard
And the sky is gray.
Hazel Jane Hart
Got a panda, stuffed
And Nelson Bryant a grouse, ruffed
Then for Steve Klebs
Was an antique drill
And Nick Stimola
Got an outdoor grill
And then there was
For Roger Wey
Guest membership
In the YMCA
And next Ann Wallace
Got a rose.
And Susan Block
Whatever she chose
A walking stick
Was what she took
Though her second choice
Was a shepherd’s crook
To carry with her
On her Panhandle trips
Now for afternoon journeys
She’s well equipped.

Timothy Johnson

Then Alan Reekie, now he’s 60
Got a birthday bottle
Of fine Scotch whiskey
And George A. Hough
Got whiskey, too
Though his was bourbon
To keep him like new . . .
Then Toby Codding
Got a Florida trip
Since he’s retired
From the steamship.
While David Merrill
Got a crystal ball
That makes a it easier
To see all
Though he’s clairvoyant
A crystal ball aids.
Then Kathy Rose
Got window shades
For her new house
Which is so nice.
And Asa Ruel
Got a Teddy Bear,
While Charlotte Goeckel
Who has red hair
Got a bow to put in it
When it grows long;
For Margaret Serpa
A game of Mahjong

Then Nelson deBettencourt
Got more bees
Their honey does
So many please
And Paula Carroll
Got a holiday
In Paris
In the month of May
While for John Ferreira
From his “dear friends”
And Luis Fernandes
They’re both denizens
Of the far-off mainland
But, all the same,
Santa gave them gifts
For they always aim
Driving the buses
That go to Woods Hole
To make the next boat
That’s always their goal.
And Santa for both
Had packets of seeds
For next year’s gardens
That will meet all their needs.

The reindeer had grown restless
They’d eaten their fill
They readied to go
But they looked up the hill
To Suki de Braganca
Whose home is up there
And Nick gave her a wave
As they sped through the air
And he shouted a shout
To all those down below,
“Take care of your Island
“So it’ll always show
The best that it offers —
Its woods and its streams;
Historic old houses
And its rolling greens;
Lighthouses and headlands
That make it so fine.
Take care of your Island
For all of the time.”