’Twas Christmas Eve in Tisbury
     And trees were all alight

St. Nick was coming surely,
     The stars were gleaming bright.
The Steamship dock was glittering
     To make certain he would stop
Since surely he’d be bringing

     Candy canes and lollipops
And toys and gifts of grandeur,
     For both the young and old.


But the waterfront was quiet
     And the air was growing cold.
There were some who dared to wonder
     If his deer had lost their way —
If the GPS was functioning
     On the North Pole reindeer’s sleigh,
Or if Siri or Alexa had interfered somehow
     And perhaps St. Nick had gone instead
To West Tisbury’s Brandy Brow.
     ’Twas true there’d still be presents
For every Island town,
     But Tisbury this Christmas
Wished to have the great renown
     Of having Santa stop there
Since it looked so very merry —
     The perfect place to have St. Nick
And all his reindeer tarry.


     But all was quiet by the dock;
The new Boch Park was still.
     Town residents were stamping feet
To warm them from the chill.
     When suddenly a cry went up
From Chicken Alley where
     They’d heard the sound of sleigh bells
In the frosty winter air.
     And high above the little street
That edges the Lagoon
     The St. Nick sleigh was gleaming
In the bright light of the moon.
     For ’tis there that the museum
So long in Edgartown
     Now has a new location
That will bring it great renown.


     For decades on that hilltop
The Marine Hospital had its home
     And sailors came from everywhere
From off the ocean’s foam.
     When they were feeling poorly
And needed urgent care
     They came to Vineyard Haven
To get well in Lagoon air.
     And after that ’twas children
At the camp known as St. Pierre’s
     Who summered on the hilltop
And sailed and swam below.
     And now ’twill be historians
Who’ll see the pond you know,
     And visitors with interest
In the Island’s days of yore
     Will be climbing up the hilltop
To learn its history more.


     So there it was the reindeer
Had made their yearly stop,
     Far away from Main street
With its restaurants and shops,
     And far away from dockside
Where the ferries come and go.
     Seeing blue-green Lagoon waters
Lapping tranquilly below,
     Was just what Santa wanted
After flying through the snow.
     So en masse Vineyard Haven folk
Rushed down to the Lagoon
     To see what wondrous gifts there were,
And it was very soon
     That they were hearing Santa say
What gifts he had for whom.


     There was wood to fill the fireplace
For the Rev. Harding, Steve,
     And perky bright red roses
For Edgartonian Joan Reeves.
     Then Eunice Youmans for her pup
Got chew toys he won’t eat up.
     While Richard Leonard got golf balls.
Melissa Randall for house calls
     Received a cashmere shawl to keep her warm,
It surely will work like a charm.
     There was bird seed for Dietrich, Ann
A smaller vehicle for Hurd, Sam.
     While Nelia Decker, who makes candy,
Got pounds of sugar to make it so dandy.
     Andy Zakis got a fireplace poker
And Susan Block a pretty choker.


     Chris Stein got new lobster traps
And there was yarn for knitting caps
     For Kim Leaird this Christmas season
She knits socks, too, it stands to reason.
     Then Connie Scott got a red sports car
To take her near and to take her far,
     And next there was for Isaac Silber-Parr
Some comic books to keep him happy.
     Then Forrest Alley got something snappy —
An elf for his garden he tends so well,
     An elf that sits in a great big shell.
Jared Maciel got treats to eat,
     And for Tom Thatcher there were beets.
Adriana Young got a pretty pup


     While for John Moffett who’s always up
To doing feats that most think daring
     Got a thick Turkish towel that’s good for wearing
After his New Year’s plunge into the ocean
     (That really seems a terrible notion —
An icy swim on New Year’s Day
     Alack aday- Alack aday).
Then Bridget Tobin got a medal of gold
     For her years of service to young and old
At the Steamship Authority where she brought cheer
     To everyone throughout the year.
Peter Shepardson got a fishing pole
     Guaranteed to catch fish, particularly sole.
For Margaret Steele was a catnip mouse
     To delight the cat that now lives in her house.
And there was another, K. Henshaw-made
     (It really is of very top grade)
For Hasty Runner’s cat named Binx —
     A clever cat that really thinks
About where to hide, but a catnip mouse
     Is sure to get him out in the house.
Then for Jim Norton there was a new strain
     Of yellow cherry tomatoes since he’s the swain
Who’s known for the splendid ones he grows,
     How they’re always so tasty nobody knows
But St. Nick’s new ones will be even better.


     For Leslie Hurd there was a red setter
To add to her group of dogs needing homes
     On this Island fair, with its fresh air.
And then Bob Schwartz got the Bruer chair,
     That’s just what he wants when he’s doing art.
While in Santa’s sack for that Moore, Mart
     Was an anklung to play from Indonesia.
Then Phronsie Vibberts got a bouquet of freesia,
     Mark Jardin got a warm watch cap
To wear in winter when there’s a cold snap,
     (Even though he is a hardy chap)
Or working the dock when the wind blows hard.
     Michelle Jasny for her new pup
who’s very young and likes to jump
     Got tasty treats to keep her happy.
Eliza Usher got a floral bouquet,
     One that will last for many a day.
For Robert Ganz were the works of the Bard,
     Whose poems he likes, but it’s Robert Frost
Without whose works he’d surely be lost.


     Seraphine Smith got her very own sleigh,
While for Dick Jennings there was an osprey
     For his very own pole — what a sheer delight
It will be to have one often in sight.
     For Jay Segal was a 12-srtring guitar,
And then Todd Stephen got a big Hershey bar.
     Craig Dripps got a walking stick for hikes
When the Dripps visit New Zealand—better than bikes
     Is the mountainous countryside they’ll see.
Jack Ryan got pencils aplenty for art,
     While for Dave Richardson was flour to start
Making the holiday cookies he bakes.
     Then for Betsy Larsen were some Omaha steaks.
The Plakins sisters got heat in their home
     On the Middle Road so they won’t have to roam
When they visit in winter — they’ll stay quite warm
     In every conceivable kind of storm.
Then Jane McTeigue got toys galore
     To play with everywhere on the floor.
Priscilla Belain got a warm red vest
     That will really be the very best
For the walks she likes so much to take.


     Amanda Dickinson for her almond cake
Got the perfect pan to help it bake.
     Polliana Bellan got a thick warm coat,
And the Glenn Jacksons a friendly goat.
     For Pickle Eville’s new puppy dog
Santa had a very warm winter tog.
     Don Shanor’s Ella got treats to enjoy
While Rory Goeckel got a special toy —
     A Jack in the Box that will be just right,
While Albert Fischer got a new long lens
    For picture taking of his wild bird friends.
While Whitney Griswold got a new oyster rake
     And Gus Ben David a black mamba snake.
The Philip Weinsteins got tickets to France,
     And Marjorie Potts who so loves to dance
The perfect partner to keep her spinning,
     While Patrick Mitchell who likes winning
Got a lottery ticket that made him happy.


     And Peter Nessen, who always looks snappy,
Got a Vineyard Vines tie, a bow one, of course,
     While Becky Sanders, for Sunday her horse,
Got apples she’ll munch every day for her lunch,
     And Sandy Fisher got homemade punch.
Then David Fielder got peppers, hot,
     For the sauce he makes that hits the spot.
And Margaret Maida got some herring roe
     It’s something that she does love so.
There were crossword puzzles for Cabot, Dan,
     And then there was for that Hersch, Stan
A jar of West Tisbury Traffic Jam.
     For Cathy Carroll was a new tennis racket
While Kelly Marolf got a warm doggy jacket
     For her English bulldog that doesn’t like cold,
And for Duncan MacDonald were marigolds.


     Then Tina Lewis got CDs
And Wanda Emin fine Cheddar cheese.
     And Christina Montoya got tap dancing shoes
While for Mary Jane Pease there was a cruise
     To seek out a blue whale that will please her a lot
For the cruise will go to a beautiful spot.
     There were Chilmark Chocolates for Dingledy, Sara,
And some of the same for Whiting, Tara.
     For Ryan O’Malley was a cordless drill set—

He’s sure to like it is Santa’s bet.
     For Paula Karol was a house in Kerry
Lorraine Clark got a fine red wine
     And the Hunter Moormans, along the same line,
Got a Chateau Rothschild that is really sublime.
     For Mike Craughwell of the swords so grand
Was an angle grinder — the best in the land.
     A pink-bowed Teddy Bear was in Santa’s sack
For Hazel Waring Myers, and a hand-painted plaque
     For Bow Van Riper that points the way
Up Museum Hill so no one will stray
     As they seek the museum with all its array
Of logbooks and china, old photos and such
     There really is so very much
Of Vineyard history to be on display
     When the museum opens on a January day.


By then it was dark and ’twas time to be gone
     The reindeer were hungry — they’d browsed on the lawn
Down at the Hansons’ but ’twas almost all gone.
     So St. Nick climbed aboard the holiday sleigh
And soon he was calling “Up, Up and Away”
     And “Merry Christmas to All” who stood down below.
While just at that moment down came flakes of snow
     So the reindeer were happy as off they did go
To Nantucket island, with gifts to leave there.
     Off, off and away, the sleigh flew through the air.