On Christmas Eve, St. Nicholas was bustling about

And wondering if — with climate change —

He dared go round about

With Christmas gifts for girls and boys

Tim Johnson

Who lived around the world.

Year after year, he’d always flown

With boxes filled with toys

Since long before the airplane

or the popular iPhone.

But now the skies were filled with planes

‘Twas hard to tell his deer

The proper routes that they should take

To bring to all good cheer,

For in the sky were dangers

And on the ground, as well.

There’d be a flood or a tornado

In some country — or some dell.


But Santa Claus knew all the same

Ray Ewing

The reindeer had to go

With Christmas gifts for all the folk

Who were dwelling down below.

So off they flew across the sky

To seek a site to land

Where there’d be grass for deer to eat

With crunch, but nothing grand.

And Christmas lights inviting

Folk to come into a town.

It needn’t be enormous

But safe for putting down.

Then out across the ocean

Martha’s Vineyard came in view,

And Nick suggested landing,

To all his reindeer crew,

Ray Ewing

In Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs

When they above it flew.


It wasn’t as bright with color

As it used to be,

But now and then as St. Nick looked

He saw a Christmas tree.

And surely it was right in town

For folks to come and find

What Santa, in this busy year,

For them he had in mind.

John Kerry, for his cutter,

Got a can of special paint.

It wasn’t of the kind, of course

That makes the painter faint,

Ray Ewing

But barnacles it keeps away

All night long and every day.

Environmentally, it is a star

Since Kerry, John’s

Our Climate Czar.

Use wind, not fossil fuel, he says,

To save the trees and save the ice

To save the fields

And save the rice

That grows in paddies

Round the world.

John Kerry keeps

Our flag unfurled.


Then Santa plucked

Larry Glick

From out his sack

A tiny gift — not bric-a-brac —

For Fiona Read Merry

Her first stuffed toy

That surely will

Bring her much joy.

Then Deici Cauro

Got a welcome mat

For her front door,

And that was that.

For Greg Monka

Was a measuring tape;

While for Steve Tully

Were Concord grapes.

Then Darlene Smith

Larry Glick

Got a tiger cat

She’s sure to love

Right off the bat.


Vicki Sur got carrots to feed Fred.

He’ll eat before he goes to bed.

Rhonda Morgan got a puppy dog.

And for Anne Burt

There were more logs

To keep her warm both night and day.

Next for Rory Goeckel,

Since he likes to play

A game of chess, he got a board.

A Grunden’s apron was the gift

For Betsy Larsen,

Ray Ewing

She won’t be miffed.

Then Luna Mayhew

Got a friendly shark

That she can play with

In any park, or at the beach

Even after dark.


For Gerry Caton’s cat named Cat

Was a make-believe mouse

In St. Nick’s sack.

And next there came

From out his pack

More pinkletinks

For Indian Hill

For Katie Hough,

Ray Ewing

They should fill the bill.

And then there was

To keep off the chill

A warm wool sweater

For Laura Murphy.

While Santa had

For Elizabeth Durkee

A satchel of bills

To save Oak Bluffs’ bluffs,

Though they won’t, of course,

Be nearly enough

To make the bluffs

A place to land

Next year for Santa

And his deer band.

Tim Johnson

And then there was

For Alley, Sam

A chicken for his cooker

To make him happy.

While Spencer Booker,

Who always looks snappy,

Got a bushel of scallops

To bring him delight,

Especially now when

They’re so out of sight.

Then Shawn MacPhail

Got a Carhartt jacket.

And for David Malm

There was a packet

Tim Johnson

Of articles for him to read

On Vineyard values

And Vineyard needs.

And there was a gift

Of wampum beads

For Maria Duarte.

And pumpkin seeds

For Anna Alley, so she can grow

The pumpkins for pies,

That she loves so.


Next, for Joyce Dresser

Were daisy seeds —

Shasta, of course —

Not the kind that are weeds.

Tim Johnson

Then for Lauren Ginsberg

Were tickets to Greece

So she can stay there for some peace.

George Davis got a karaoke machine

For the Courthouse lobby

To liven the scene.

Kathy Agin got fine wool for knitting,

Though she hasn’t much time

To spend just sitting.

Then for Bruce Stone

There were new golf clubs,

And Stephanie Michalkczyk

Got pretty tubs

To grow flowers in

At her Camp Ground home,

For there, of course,

There’s very rich loam.


Colin Hurd got some Benton art,

A single painting

Would be a start.

Sue Hruby’s Lily

Got a catnip trove,

And it’s quite certain

She’ll never rove.

For Patterson, Meg

Was a new muffin tin

For her blueberry muffins

That won’t keep you thin.

Jenny Gadowski got turkey for soup,

Enough so that she could feed a group.

It’s so delicious all should try

To get a spoonful on the sly.

For Russell Burroughs

There was white wine.

The kind he likes

Comes from the Rhine.


And for Greg Coogan

Was an SUV

Shiny and silver

As it should be.

For Bow Van Riper and Norah Kyle

Were honeymoon tickets to St. Kitts.

While Hermine Hull got cornmeal for grits.

Then Debbie Hale

Got clay for her pots,

While Anne Vanderhoop

Got forget-me-nots.

Leila Gardner got a casting rod.

And Laura Hathaway, shish-kebab.

Charlotte Goeckel got her own Highland calf.

Then for Judy Birsh was a photograph

By Eisie, of course, ‘twas in Santa’s sack.

And as he looked deeper into his pack

Was a bike tire pump for Henry Nieder.

While Bruce Eliot got a gallon of cider

For his hot days at Chicken Alley.


For Valerie Sonnenthal were chimes from Bali.

Then Santa looked up to find his deer

All nibbling away without any fear

In Ocean Park, but ‘twas hard to see

Without as many lights that there used to be.

Time was when the park was all alight.

But, alas, this year it isn’t as bright.

And most lights it has are only white.

But since Santa was sure

That his deer were there

He went back to his sack

Without a care.

For Stephen Weinstein there was a new rake

For boule court tending — the best they make.

For Joyce Albertine was a house in Aruba.

And Alan Dershowitz got a tuba.


Then Abel Pease got bones to chew,

And plenty of them, not just a few.

And Nellie Scott got a Porsche that was red

That is the kind,

That she wanted to have as her very own.

And for Blanche Jackson

Was a precious stone,

Found in the ocean off Noman’s Land

And out there, too,

But in the sand

Was a note in a bottle for Anne Ganz.

It had come from Hawaii — far away

And surely floated for many a day.

There were paint supplies for Engley, Steve

That he should gratefully receive,

And Daniela Lynch got dancing shoes.

Next in the sack

Santa found for a cruise

Tickets for George Santos

They were good news.


Then Geovane Meikle

Got a new basketball

For his trip to Europe,

Probably in the fall.

T.J. Hegarty got a new walking cane

That holds up well,

Even in the rain.

Mark Winters got a welcome mat

To greet parishioners

Who come to chat

At the Federated Church

Where he’s now the preacher.

There were Salt Rock candies

For Plum Hill’s newish teacher.

She’s Emmy Mayhew

Whom children like.

And Oliver Goeckel got a new bike.

Then for Mya O’Neill

Was a rag doll white kitten.

And Juna Peach got

A pair of mittens.


Bobbie Scherlis got puzzles

For experts alone.

While for Susan Block

There was panettone.

For Kathleen Koehler

Was a Tom Dresser book.

And then there were

For Samantha Look

Some hiking boots

Since she likes to walk

On Island land

She seeks to keep

In a natural way

Not just as now,

But for many a day.


Then Santa knew it was time

To be off in the sky

For Nantucket beckoned

And it was nearby.

He called to his reindeer

‘Twas time to stop eating

And fly away

With more Christmas greetings.

He waved down to Oak Bluffs

And Islanders all

As he flew through the sky

Above the sea wall.