M enemsha was all hunkered down

’Twas quiet like all Chilmark town

In winter when it’s cold — and snow

Is falling as all folk do know

And Dutcher Dock is still — except

For Scott McDowell who’s so deft

At making copper fish to sell

For he must pound and tap as well

To make his fish come out just right.

His cod and sole are quite a sight.

Few boats are tied up at the dock

And so it came as quite a shock

To Santa Claus to see bright lights

Agleam below him on his flight

From the North Pole to this fair isle

Of Martha’s Vineyard, and a smile

Lit up his jolly face. The miles

He’d flown with all his reindeer crew

To carry gifts to all of you

Were all forgotten when he saw

(The reindeer, too were filled with awe)

Atop Menemsha’s Coast Guard Station

(Among the finest in the nation)

White lights of Christmas shining fair

The best lights he’d seen anywhere

Up on the top and down below

Bright and shiny in the snow

They weren’t so big and all were white

But that was really quite all right.

And then there was a snowman, too

H e seemed all set to greet the few

Menemsha guests of wintertime —

A place that really is sublime

Not for the sunsets on the shore

Or for the yachts that some adore,

But for the chowder — cold or hot

That Stanley Larsen has in a pot.

Up until January it can be had

As can scallops and oysters — not so bad

For the dinner table in wintertime.

Indeed there are some who’d say it’s divine

To be able to eat such tasty fishes

That can be cooked in so many good dishes.

As St. Nick looked down upon the lights

And the jolly snowman — it seemed just right

To tell his reindeer to stop the sleigh

And to make a landing near to the quay

So he could visit and say hello;

Have a bowl of chowder — and to all below

Give out the gifts he brings each year

When he comes to the Vineyard with his deer.

S o down they swooped to the Coast Guard site

The reindeer’s landing was just right

And Santa was glad to bring good cheer

From far away to right down here

First he reached in his sleigh for a ball of fine yarn

For Linda Coito, that nursery school marm

Who loves to knit and makes beautiful things

And for Mary Greely he had earrings.

Victoria Scott got food for her puppy

While for Susan Huntington there was a guppy

To show along with gerbil Houdini

To her classes although a guppy is teeny.

Then Ted Meinelt got modeling clay

For a pottery project that will fill his day.

There were apples and oranges for Isabel West

Who really is just one of the best.

Then for Linda Hayden was a Good Dog good

While for Cary Scheller there was firewood.

And Liza Vogel got a dolphin pet,

A gift that she surely can’t forget.

For Richard Knabel was a cat in a hat

Though of course he needs neither hat nor cat.

Paul Condlin got more police in summer

When Edgartown is really a bummer.

For the Athearn farm there was plenty of rain

To assure there’ll be fine crops once again.

John Stevens got a permit to fish on Chappy

That’s certain to make him feel quite happy.

For Tom Durawa were cabbage pierogies

While for Carl Leaf there were some stogies.

Cynthia Robinson got a Gaelic book

And there were red roses for Hurd, Took.

Jonathan Revere got more video film

Art Railton’s book was for John Helm.

Cheryl Maltais got a gavel of gold

That will help her surely to uphold

The rules and the rights of the Wampanoag tribe

Those are, of course, too much to describe.

T hen for Barbara Lampson in a bright red box

Was certainly not one more pair of socks

But a Christmas elf to help her to paint

Her new Tisbury house, while for Edey, Mait

There were candy canes and chocolates tasty

And some of the same for Runner, Hasty.

Then Leslie Stark got a musical find —

A Duke Ellington record that blew his mind.

Long lost it had been and suddenly found,

While for Dick Burt there was a mound

Of arrowheads for him to search through,

While Cameron Ganser got a dress of blue

As did Olive MacPhail and Violet, too.

And Kontje, Geoff got beachfront land

On South Georgia Island — ’tis surely grand

To be in the Falklands and the Vineyard, too,

And for Tim Maley was more bamboo.

Then Denny Rose got free winnings at poker

And Lynie Bernardin a rhinestone choker.

For Robert Potts there was a thesaurus

And for Beth Kramer was a book of Horace

For spare time reading when the library’s still

In West Tisbury town. Then a daffodil

Was in Santa’s sack for Priscilla Fischer

And all good things did Santa wish her.

C aroline Jane Walsh got water wings

And Buzzy Hall, who so beautifully sings,

Kudos for the operas at the Capawock

While for the alpacas in her flock

Barbara Ronchetti got a new fence

(To repel vandals — that makes sense.)

For Gretchen Feldman there were more barn owls

While Ila Briggs Halby got some pretty towels.

And Mary Tucker got a bracelet of gold.

She likes things shiny Santa had been told.

Then Cochin, Beckett got Red Sox tickets

While for Edie Blake there were croquet wickets

Since she so much enjoys the game

And is so good when she takes aim.

For Sharon Rzemian’s Karma and Jack

And Nicole Alley’s puppy black

Were dog bones, tasty, that they could chew on

And then there was for Rappaport, Ron

A bicycle light for midnight rides

Just to make sure that when the tides

Are high, he doesn’t miss his way

And end up in the ocean’s spray

At Stonewall Beach when it’s icy and cold

Since as a cyclist he is so bold

And travels here and travels there.

A nd then there was for Ricky Behr

More steady winds for his balloons

While Emily Day got silver spoons

Since she’s a bride and needs such things

While for Gail Tipton who bell rings

Was a chamois for polishing them till they shine

So that in church they will look just fine.

For Pam Lindgren there were gloves of white

That fit her perfectly and look just right

In case she meets again with the Queen

Whom she does hold in great esteem

Whom she saw on a trip she took abroad

And by whom she was just overawed.

Mev Good got a briefcase for all his work

When he goes to the high school — he never shirks

In his talks about history and the past

He is so much an enthusiast.

And then Bob Franklin got an ivory cane

So he can soon walk with ease again.

While for Bob Hughes there was a great find

(It really was just one of a kind.)

Santa had found on his travels away

That a heath hen still lived with eggs to lay

So he had some in a velvet pouch

(About such things Santa is no slouch.)

They’d been nestled with care so they wouldn’t break

And Santa was sure that they weren’t fake.

So now on the Vineyard once again

There should be a nest of fat heath hen

S tuart Bangs got all good wishes

And Betsy Cabana for her fine dishes

Clams and scallops from the Lagoon

And then there was for that Curme, June

An Australian joey to bring home

To Minnesota where it can roam

As happily as in Brisbane.

Then Peggy Freydberg got a candy cane

While Cynthia Robinson got a new Subaru.

The old one just would no longer do.

There were Chilmark Chocolates for Bob Potter

While Leah Smith’s very first granddaughter —

Nova Aster — got a leprechaun

To which she should, of course, be drawn

With a father who comes from the Emerald Isle

While for Madeleine Tully who likes style

Was a taffeta dress with buttons pink;

More books to read for Hansen, Linc

When he goes to Windemere on visits.

A star of real gold for Tobin, Bridget

To mount on the top of her Christmas tree

From all those folk who do agree

She’s the Steamship Authority’s best employee.

D ave Belcher departing for Florida climes

Got a garden of oranges, lemons and limes

At his new dwelling — and best of luck

While Michael Black got Peking duck

To remind him of his China trip,

And then there was for Harrington, Flip

The rarest of birds to keep him happy

While for Eric Sundin over on Chappy

Were the grandest of sunsets for his pix

Mary Rose Morano got Pick-up-Stix

To play with when there are days of rain

While Charlie Jr. got an electric train.

Alec Gale got bass aplenty

So the Deborah Lee will never be empty

When she makes her runs to the Whaling City.

Mark Alan Lovewell got a new seaman’s ditty

To play and to sing as he likes to do

And then there was for Jim LeRoux

All sorts of building stuff to do.

For Jack Hathaway was a trip to Chile

And Dianne Powers got a new filly.

P hil daRosa got a new guitar

To take with him if he travels far

On trips to play in foreign climes.

For Gloria Levitas were wind chimes.

There were Will Parry windows for Trip Barnes

For his new house — they will give it charm.

Then Nat Mincone got a win over Bourne.

In the New Year now he won’t be forlorn.

Jan Hatchard got an Italian villa

And Laura Silber a supply of vanilla.

For Susan Strain and for Bruce Starr

There was a trip to Zanzibar.

Whit Hanschka got some horses to shoe

And for Bob Ganz was a ribbon blue

He got one in the summer, too,

For the produce he grows on his Chilmark land.

He really does have a green hand.

And for Ted Burnham was a ribbon, too,

For all the tomatoes he grows and grew.

Eleanor Mitchell got new boule balls

While for A’Bell Washburn came gifts to PAWS.

For Carol Forgione’s brand new boat,

About which she should certainly gloat,

There were fittings of brass to make her happy

And then there were for McCarthy, Taffy

Plays aplenty for her to stage

Since Island theatre is the rage

Though high school officials are cutting back

On music and drama — alas, alack

N ow the reindeer were pawing a bit in the sand

And wishing that Santa hadn’t asked them to land

Where there was so little for reindeer to munch

There was only some seaweed on which they could crunch.

But the sleigh on its runners was emptying out.

However, St. Nick, with the mightiest shout,

Remembered he had a whole sackful of greetings

To give to Mike Halt now that he’s back to meetings

At the school in West Tisbury after Iraq

For parents are glad that he’s tending the flock

Of schoolchildren there. And wishes came, too,

Indeed there were more than just a few

For Duncan McMullen who’s back from the war

Having finished his time at that terrible chore.

A bag of fair winds was in Santa’s pack

For Benjamin, Pam and Benjamin, Nat

When they sail their new boat wherever they choose

On this or on that most inviting cruise.

And fair winds and seas for Stackpole, Matt

Were also in with this and that

In Santa’s sack of Christmas gifts

(They always move about and shift

So winds and ivy and bric-a-brac

Are all mixed up inside his pack.)

Garrett Orazem got camping gear

For his adventures far and near.

And Kirchmeier, Ruth a woodcutting tool

And then there was for Ginny Poole

A gourmet chef to feed her grandly

(The present one is certainly handy

But the dishes he makes are not jim-dandy.

So the chef says, and he should know

Since he eats them, too, and calls them so-so.)

Tamara Buchwald got a new tennis racket

And for Faith Runner was a warm winter jacket.

Dr. John Lamb got fish in his pond

And Dr. Butera, while he’s still around

Fine wines and fine coffee since both he enjoys.

And there were best wishes for Alfred Noyes.

For Bob and Lynn Gatchell were more Christmas lights

(Though the ones they have now are a most festive sight,)

T he Russell Hoxsies got symphony tickets,

And the Peter Nessens a lot of thickets

To keep headlights out of their pretty house.

Then Lisa Shanor got a pet mouse.

There was moustache wax for Alley, Jim

Now that a beard is part of him.

Then Richard Skidmore for the Gay Head Light

Got scores of visitors to that site

For Eleanor Pearlson was holly and ivy

Since she’s a lady who’s really jivey.

Helen Manning got some too

And Polly Murphy delphiniums blue.

Joan Jenkinson got doggie treats

To feed to the animals she meets

And Bailey Norton sugar plums

While for Jane Slater there were mums

To brighten her life while she’s at home.

Then courtside seats at Wimbledon

Were in the pack for Paul Pertile

Who likes to see his tennis in style.

Ralph Case received a Patriot’s hat

And then John Walter got a cat.

While Evelyn O’Brien got sunny days

In Sarasota so she can laze

About outdoors since it’s so warm.

And where there is a certain charm

It’s not Wisconsin with cows and hills,

But certainly it fills the bill.

T he restless reindeer stamped their hooves

They knew that there were still many roofs

Across the country where they must stop

And chimneys down which St. Nick must drop

Candy and oranges and stuffed bears

(Not made in China, best beware.)

So St. Nicholas waved to the Coast Guard crew

And then, of course, to the rest of you

Vineyarders whom he likes to see

At Christmas time. Then he thought of Rie

McLean and of her spouse, Pete

For them he had a gift quite neat

A pair of tickets across the sea

Wherever Rie might like to be.

Then St. Nicholas joined his reindeer crew

And shouting best wishes to you and you

He rose again into the sky

And with his reindeer then did fly.