Editor's Note: Each year, editor Phyllis Meras creates a Christmas poem for the Vineyard. 

’Twas Christmastime and good St. Nick

Was coming to our bailiwick

From the North Pole region with his deer

Who love the Vineyard — that’s quite clear

St. Nicholas’s deer take great delight

In browsing — they’re a pretty sight

In fields and woods while Santa works,

Delivering gifts and special perks.

This year, he thought that he should land

At the blinker light with his deer band

For browsing’s good

In the neighborhood

But he’d heard at the Pole of a to-do —

Of a roundabout that just a few

Think would be right where two roads cross,

But others fear ’tis an albatross

Where the Edgartown-bound

Will go round and round.

They’ll lose much time in circling about

Just trying to find the right way out.


They’ll be hot and bothered — too tired to swim.

A roundabout seems a costly whim

Yet the MV Commission has deemed it right

For controlling traffic, but they lack foresight.

So it seemed to Santa as he plotted his route

And told his reindeer that they should shoot

For the blinker light greensward as landing field.

He was sure, he said, that traffic would yield

When they saw the deer swooping low in the sky

For they’d know the gifts would come by and by.

“What a pity,” St. Nicholas said with a sigh,

That city folk now are “improving” MV.

It was much better off, as most people can see,

When the towns ran loosely; when roads had bends,

And when laid-back Islanders were (mostly) friends;

When drivers were patient, admiring a view

Even when it meant waiting a minute or two

At a crossroad or stop street in this town or that,

But he couldn’t, he guessed, go up to the bat

For keeping the blinker roads just as they are.


He was sure he’d be told that he came from afar —

That no North Pole dweller should say what to do

On Martha’s Vineyard to me and to you.

His job was gift-giving and it stopped there.

It was time to get on with the gifts of this year.

Walter Delaney got a fire station addition —

For a very long time that’s been his mission,

And Shirley Mayhew, for her new home,

So she no longer will want to roam,

To Myanmar or to Peru

Got comfy chairs and curtains blue.

Ruth Wilcox got a mess of mussels

And Caitlin Jones some sprouts from Brussels.

Then Mike Pease got an Amphicar

So he can travel near and far

On land or sea — t’will be the same

And then there was a new chess game

For Isaac Silber-Parr who is a whiz

With knights and kings. Then a gin-fizz

Was in Santa’s pack for Goethals, Tom

And Madeleine Tully got a pom-pom

To adorn a hat when the cold wind blows.

And Peggy Freydberg got a pink rose.


A ticket to the Azores for Dennis daRosa;

For Oscar Flanders there was a top

And Anna Alley, who likes to shop,

Got a book of free tickets for off-Island jaunts

So she can go to her shopping haunts.

Jim Alley got a Model-A

And then there was for Leslie Gray

A fence to guard her garden green —

When it is full of chard and beans.

Aileen Mahoney got a baby doll

And Katie Carroll some Christmas balls

For the holiday parties that are her thing

And to so many delight do bring.

Chris Fischer got a rabbit hutch

So he, with them, can keep in touch.

Then Paul Magid got great book sales

And Ivory Littlefield a boat with sails.

Then Harold Hill caught a great big fish

To put into a favorite dish.

There were tulip bulbs for Jennifer Mead

And for Ann Burt there was birdseed.


Sal Monteiro got a chocolate cake.

And for Ruth Stiller should she want to take

A trip to Israel, Santa had made plans.

So many Islanders visit foreign lands.

Then Marjorie Peirce got a new home

So that she will no longer roam.

While Evelyn Dengler got Christmas blooms

And Hunter Parker a toy cannon that booms.

Barbara Francis got lobster stew

And Lincoln Hanson got some, too.

And then there was an eager buyer

Even though the economy is dire

For Corinne Moran’s inviting home

While Avi Lev got a load of loam.

Mark Mazer got new houses to build,

For Helmer Peutthoff Riesling, chilled.

Amanda Dickinson got swimming goggles.

For Myrtle Case there were some toggles

To sew on pea coats if the need arises,

Then for Edo Potter to add to her prizes

Were accolades from all Chappy folk.


While Mark Hurwitz got some antique oak

For the work he does in restoration.

“Auntie” Anna Duarte got a spiffy new car.

For Joe McConnell who comes from afar

Was high-speed Internet that would work well

Deep in the woods, on a beach, in a dell.

Then for Joe Costa was a model airplane

While Fred Fisher Jr. got plenty of grain

To feed to his horses before hayrides

And Margaret Knight got insecticides

To keep the mosquitoes far at bay,

And then there was for Nelson, Gay

Daisies and snapdragons in a bouquet.

For Marie Doebler there was a piglet

While Suzan Bellincampi got an eaglet

To fly about at Felix Neck,

And next there was a sizeable check

In Santa’s sack for Kramer, Beth.

So big it was it took her breath

It will help out so with library expansion.

In West Tisbury there may soon be a mansion

For housing its books, its computers and things.

Then Trudy Taylor got a bird that sings.

Catherine Buck got complaisant cats

And Barack Obama Democrats

To be in his corner next election year.

For the Walsh brothers was hockey gear.


Then Jason Cournoyer got a new dirt bike

For the off-Island races that he so likes,

For Carol Magee were new ballet slippers

And they will really make her chipper.

For Mabelle Medowski there were tasty sweets —

Chocolate chip cookies with nut meats.

Carrie Potter got packets of seeds

To brighten the garden she keeps free of weeds.

And Nicki Miller got a Microplane

That she can use again and again.

For Billy Dias, there were stones for walls;

For the Allen Farm there were plenty of squalls

So the turbine would spin and make lots of power.

And then for Joe Tobin was a Gravely mower.

Jeremy Smith got one of those, too,

For all of the lawn work he likes to do.

Tom Hodgson got a load of holly and ivy

So Tisquam Road will look really jivey.

Then Taylor Ives got a black top hat

And Lynn Christoffers her very own cat.

Tony Lombardi got guitars

So the young in his charge can play ’neath the stars.

Then Evelyn O’Brien got a Delavan trip

While for Tim Carroll was a trip by ship

Where’ere in the world he’d like to go,

His trip to East Europe he did like so.

Then Betty Eddy got a chauffeur.

And Connie Scott a coat of squirrel fur

While for Holly Coyne there were pears tasty

And catnip mice for Runner, Hasty

Who has a cat that likes to play.

And then there was for that Greene, Fay,

Lobster aplenty for fine Island dining

While in Santa’s pack, since they like reclining,

Was a chaise lounge for the Plakins pair,

Naomi and Ava, when they’re here.

Dr. Bob Franklin got best wishes

And Jennifer Goeckel another set of dishes.

For Robert Fountain there came, at last,

Chappy TV service, courtesy of Comcast.

And for R.M. Packer in Santa’s sack

Was his own oil rig, and a tasty snack

For Lemi Marshall when he comes to see

His Potts grandparents in West Tisbury.


There were new riding boots for Stephen Caliri

While Megan McDonald got something cheery —

Crayons and chalk will be her delight.

There were candy canes striped all red and white

For Joanne Rice and Ted Meinelt.

And then Tom Thatcher got a beaded belt.

For Bobby Carroll were prime parking spots,

All across Edgartown, not just in lots.

Peg Goodale got a warm fleece jacket

And Bob Douglas an oldtime packet.

Then Pickle Eville got a big blue bow

That goes with her curls that grow below.

Cynthia Mitchell got a ticket to France,

And for Coco Brown there was — by chance —

One just like it in Santa’s pack,

And since, for traveling, she has a knack

She’ll go from there to other far places.

For Edward Hewett who likes horse races

Was free admission to Kentucky’s Derby.

There were motorcycle gloves to please Pierce Kirby.

The Seccombe children, Ciara and James,

Got return tickets and plenty of games

To keep them happy when they fly back

From way Down Under with their haversacks

To see their friends in Vineyard Haven.

Then for Lord Foster there was a raven

To join the herons at his new farm.

At the Tower of London, ravens bring a charm —

They guard Great Britain from terrible harm —

May the same be the case at the Foster place

For that should surely please His Grace.


Now Alison Mead got toys galore

For her cat, Kitty, who plays on the floor.

Then Garrett Orazem got Farm Institute lamb

To go in his pasties, while there was plum jam

For Lulu Kaye when she comes from New York,

While Corey Dean got a gift of cork

For fashioning items, which she likes to do.

Then Barbara Fenner for her meatloaf and stew

Got parsley and basil and oregano, too,

While for Mark Crossland and his crew

There were accolades for the Christmas décor

In Ocean Park above the shore

And in Sunset Lake where a cheery tree

Is lit up at night for all to see.

Then Shealyn Smythe got a baby sister

And Andrea Hartman gold that glisters

For her jewelry pieces of fine design

That really are the top of the line.


There was a notebook for Ewing, Steve,

Who always has a new poem up his sleeve

With no place to keep them, a notebook was swell.

It was also thanks for his work on the bell

At the Whaling Church, which is now just right

And rings, as it should both day and night.

And then there was for Maxner, Steve

A safe house for sharks, and for Joan Reeves

Were restaurant coupons since she likes dining out;

She’ll make good use of them, without a doubt.

Then Wyatt Jenkinson got skis

And plenty of dog treats for Connie Breese.

Dave Pritchard got a new warm kilt

For cold days in Vermont and a patchwork quilt

Should he quit the Vineyard in dismay

Because old Edgartown just isn’t the way

That it used to be when the town took care

To always assure there were old homes there

With their old-fashioned chimneys and creaky doors

And decorative moldings and wide-planked floors.


For Richard Rice there was Christmas cheer

While Katherine Long got a chanticleer

To join the flock of birds she treasures

And the cats she loves almost without measure.

There were sugared pecans to please Pat Brown

Who lives in the heart of Edgartown.

For the Vineyard Playhouse new windows came

To please M.J. Munafo who’s brought such fame

To Island theatre and deserves acclaim.

And Olga Hirshhorn got a boule ball

While Carol Craven, who since this fall

Has made the Vineyard her year-round home,

Got for her garden a rich load of loam.

Diamond Vanderhoop got a pail

For feed for the horses she tends without fail.

While Rhianna Schann got an audition

That might bring her dream right to fruition;

To sing on stage is her great joy,

And Gideon Smith got a baby toy

While Edie Blake got a blue merle collie,

A gift that will make her very jolly.


For Eulalie Regan was a candy cane

And for Eileen Hathaway there was the same.

Then for Jane Seagrave, who yearns for scallops —

The way she cooks them they pack wallops —

Was a peep sight for scouring Cape Pogue Pond.

Of shellfish her husband is especially fond,

But it’s hard finding scallops in waters murky.

And then there was for Stephen Durkee

A basket for berries he likes pickin’

While for Dianne Powers there was a fat chicken

From Cleveland Road Farm where the birds grow large.

And St. Nicholas had for Rogers, Marj

Tidbits for her cats when they catch all the mice

While Valmir Barbosa got a bag of rice.

And Shari Foiles got a night of dancing.

By then the reindeer were bounding and prancing.

For they’d eaten their fill on the Land Bank land

That may soon be gone for a purpose not grand —

That could turn to macadam, and trees be felled

Though many a Vineyarder has yelled

About the distressing roundabout scheme.

And hoped, indeed, ’twas all a bad dream.


Then the reindeer were ready to fly in the sky

And St. Nick was saying his annual goodbye

To his Islander friends on the ground down below

As up in the air the reindeer did go.

Looking down from the sled, he could see in the distance

The tent rental service of Sandra Lippens.

He waved to her warmly and shouted “Heigh Ho.”

He hoped, for her sake, that all down below

Would stay just as it’s been for so long a time

T’would make her feel then, once again, quite sublime.

Santa heaved a great sigh and he called on his way

That he hoped she’d still be there next Christmas Day.

And as he and his reindeer flew way out of sight

He was telling them how he hoped all would be right

Between Islanders for and those who oppose

And the roundabout battle would happily close.