Christmas on Shelter Island is a quiet time of year. The crowds are long gone and many shops, restaurants and hotels have shut for the season.
But left to celebrate are the year-round residents, business owners, town officials and public servants who have made the beautiful town looks festive and homey for the season.
The holiday season officially kicks off with the annual Christmas tree lighting at police headquarters. Then, to help get into the spirit of things, the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce organized a “Decorate Your Door Contest” amongst the Island’s merchants.
In Shelter Island Heights shops like Stars Cafe, Marie Eiffel and the Shelter Island Hardware store have decorated their exteriors with wreaths, red ribbons and multi-colored lights. The Shelter Island Pharmacy displays two tall wooden toy soldiers outside its entranceway.
On Grand Avenue the recently renovated Chequit hotel renewed an age-old tradition this year, the lighting of a large Christmas tree on their patio.
“Shelter Island Heights used to do a big tree lighting and it was kind of the epicenter of the island, but over the years it stopped being that,” explained Chequit owner Kevin O’Shea. “We thought this would be a great time to bring it back and create an event for the entire community.”
Shelter Island’s Christmas decorating style is similar to its down-to-earth reputation. Natural greenery and traditional decor like ribbons and wreaths are way more popular then bright lights and flashy tinsel.
The two ferry lines, North and South ferries, both favored greenery to decorate their facilities and vessels.
As you drive further inland, trees and wreaths festoon most government buildings, from the police department to the post office to the local library.
If you can’t get to the Rock this Christmas, check out some of our Island scenes below.
South Ferry’s office is heavily decorated in red and green (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)