A Very Islandy New England Christmas

I don’t, as a rule, deal with Black Friday. I do, however, love the tradition of Block Friday, which is Block Island’s celebration of shopping small and supporting the community. It’s very cold – but it’s also lovely, and a nice way to bid a final farewell to the summer playground until the next year.

I spent last year’s day after Thanksgiving on Block Island. It was my first time ever going to The Barn at Spring House, which is a more casual version of the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, and is only open in the off-season. Earlier in the day I scored two pairs of sandals I had been eyeing earlier in the summer for less than the cost of one pair, so I celebrated by blowing all of that savings (and more) on red wine and really good steak.

This year, I celebrated Thanksgiving in Southern California, wearing shorts and spending most of the day in the sunshine rather than the kitchen. I’ll be totally honest: it didn’t feel quite right. To this lifelong New Englander, Thanksgiving should be a day of surviving very cold temperatures to make it into a very warm house filled with so many desserts that there’s a 2:1 ratio of them to people.

Homesickness inspired this story for Forbes, about Block Friday and other festive celebrations on the islands off New England’s coast. You really haven’t lived until you’ve been surrounded by 100 tipsy Santas at Nantucket’s Chicken Box… or so I hear. I’ll get there one day.

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