With the arrival of December, no time was wasted in transforming Martha’s Vineyard into a Santa’s workshop of activity and holiday cheer. Almost overnight fir tress spouted from front porches and pick-up trucks, red ribbons fluttered on light poles and store windows glowed. Island businesses and organizations wasted no time in contributing to the mood of cheer with light displays, seasonal music and whimsical fun for all.
A handful of events jumped right into the spirit of the season and will continue into December – among these are Oak Bluffs’ Santa Sweepstakes which continues until December 20; Featherstone’s Holiday Gift Show, open to shoppers until December 17; and Teddy Bear Suite at the Harbor View Hotel which begins on December 1 and also continues on weekends through December 17. In Oak Bluffs’ Ocean Park the Crosslands Annual Christmas Display lights the night with a veritable fantasy of color and light.
The first weekend of the month brings a Mistletoe & Mischief Holiday Pop-Up Shop on both Friday and Saturday December 1 and 2. The Martha’s Vineyard Museum holds its annual What’s It Worth? appraisal event, also on the month’s first day. Saturday, December 2 arrives with no shortage of events including a Christmas Faire at The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury; or the opportunity to work up an appetite playing Santa at the Oak Bluffs Fire – EMS Stuff a Bus before heading up to Aquinnah for the Sassafras Earth Education Ancestor Supper Pot Luck Celebration. In the evening, Island Community Chorus Holiday Concert at the Old Whaling Church provides the perfect conclusion to the day. (event repeats Sunday at 3 pm)
On Sunday join Island artists and musicians as they present Offerings of Music and Light to brighten the darker days at the Chilmark Community Church as the night draws us in at 5 pm. (repeats on December 10)
The new week brings us Christmas in Edgartown, the Island’s annual celebration of all things Christmas. Tree and lighthouse lightings, carolers, cookie decorating, wreath making and dozens of other festive events that would put even Scrooge into a mood of benevolent holiday cheer, fill the days from Thursday, December 7 through Sunday, December 10. We encourage you to visit the Christmas in Edgartown website for up-to-the-minute event details.
Concurrently, and continuing weekends through December 17 is the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse’s presentation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, a magical annual theater event for the whole family
On Saturday, December 9, The Trustees of Reservations host a winter wonderland Christmas at the Lighthouse tour: ride a guided over-sand vehicle along the barrier beach to the Cape Pogue Lighthouse where a warming drink awaits (event repeats on Sunday 10 am – noon). Also drawing us outdoors is the Christmas Festival for Birds during which Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation offers seasonal nature crafts for children and refreshments for all ages from 1-3 pm.
On Sunday, strap on your running shoes and join the Teddy Bear Trot – Holiday 5K Fun Run & Walk at the Harbor View Hotel, 8:30 am – 11 am in your most festive holiday attire! Then, with what breath you have left, head over to the Federated Church Meetinghouse from 2 – 3 pm for an Old Fashioned Carol Sing. Up in West Tisbury the First Congregational Church offers a Christmas Concert with Bell Choir at 3 pm featuring a program of Medieval and Renaissance Music with selections by the Bell Choir.
Monday brings us to a blizzard of holiday events that continue almost to month’s end beginning with Merry and Bright: Holiday Cards from the MVM Collections at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, and continuing on Tuesday with Reflections of Peace Christmas Concert at the Old Whaling Church. On Friday, the MV Hebrew Center invites the community to its Hanukkah Service and Celebration replete with music, latkes, and more.
On Saturday, December 16 the magic of the holiday season inspires the Woodland Fairies Workshop at Polly Hill Arboretum, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm with instructor Genevieve Jacobs leading the creation of little creatures made using all natural, foraged materials.
For more handcrafts, head over to the annual MV NAACP Christmas Bazaar at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center where you will also find a silent auction, baked goods, raffles and vendors from 10 am – 3 pm. Oak Bluffs turns the holiday festivities up a notch throughout the town starting with a Holiday Market at 10 am, Horsedrawn Hayrides jingling through the town starting at noon, and an Old-Fashioned Christmas with caroling, cookie decorating and ornament making starting at 2 pm.
On Sunday the celebrating moves up to West Tisbury where the Library hosts a Concert of Sacred Music from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm and follows up on Monday with its Annual Holiday Party offering all who come to celebrate delicious refreshments, the opportunity make a holiday swag, and listen to the sounds of the Vineyard Classic Brass Band.
Happy Holidays to All!