Christmas on an island

Fri, 12/24/2021 - 9:09am

Block Island’s 2021 Christmas season brings people together, allows islanders to practice traditions old and new, and brings decorations to brighten the island.
Islanders and tourists celebrate this year’s holiday season by honoring their favorite holiday traditions and activities. Austin Morin, creator of Queer Block Island, a year-round resident shared his favorite island holiday treats. “I really love the high school competition for the best
Christmas lights,” Morin said. With the help of the Block Island Power Company, the Block Island High School Student Council has created an outdoor Christmas light contest. First place includes a $300 prize, second place a $200 prize, and third place, a $100 prize. To qualify for the prizes the competitors must use energy efficient bulbs and sign up for a free energy efficiency audit, creating an eco-friendly holiday competition.
Locals shared their joy when talking about the island community. “For me, being on the island during the holiday season allows me a chance to see what a sense of community we have on Block Island. I have watched people come together to decorate at our school, enjoy friendships on the holiday Shopping Stroll and most importantly, how generous the community is to each other when someone needs a hand,” Block Island School Co-Principal Kyle Riley said.

Students and teachers got together to decorate the hallways and entrance of the school one afternoon, including wreaths, lights, and all different types of Christmas decor.

Dr. Susan Gibbons, high school science teacher, also appreciated the perks of the island stroll, “I love seeing friends and neighbors on the Shopping Stroll, taking pictures by the Lobster Pot tree, and seeing the beauty of Christmas decorations against the backdrop of the ocean.”
Morin also recognized the sense of community, “I really love how everyone waves to each other. Last year I was really sad when summer began and the waving season came to an end.”

Some locals took advantage of the island’s special winter features. “I really love getting in the water around the holidays, specifically snorkeling one last time for scallops and clams. Another thing I love is having Thai food flown over for Christmas Eve Dinner, which is a new tradition for
our family,” High School English teacher, Michael Petrik said.
Shop owners also take pleasure in the holiday season. Red Right Return owner Judy Clark shared her enthusiasm for the holiday season. “I look forward to the quiet,” Clark said. “It’s a time for things I don’t get to do in the summer, like crochet.” Clark used her free time to create a new crochet bag decorated with shells that is for sale at her store now.
Clark isn’t the only one who appreciates the quiet the holidays bring to the island. “I consider the island my home and I like to be home for the holidays. And I love the quiet,” Island Free Library Director Kristin Baumann said.