Season's Strolling through Cape Cod & the Islands, November/December 2017 Cape Cod LIFE | capecodlife.com

Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown.

This article was written by Allyson Plessner & Kristina Atsalis

The woods are lovely,  dark and deep, but I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.

In just a few short lines, Robert Frost aptly captures the spirit of a winter season – especially on Cape Cod. Along with quiet beauty, a Cape Cod winter holds a multitude of holiday wonders. This issue of Cape Cod LIFE takes readers on a journey of the many holiday traditions that make this season on the Cape and Islands so special.

Start off your holiday season in true Cape Cod fashion with the annual lighting of the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, taking place November 22. Last year, the monument was decorated with more than 3,100 lights. A great accompaniment to this event has been the lighting of the Provincetown Lobster Pot Tree, which normally occurs Thanksgiving evening in Lope’s Square at the heart of town. With the recent passing of this event’s beloved creator, local artist Julian Popko, the future of this unique celebration is yet to be determined. Nevertheless, the 13 successful years of this event is a feat to be admired, with last year’s tree including over 100 borrowed lobster pots, 120 red bows, 58 buoys, 46 plastic lobsters, and over 3,000 lights.

Skip the stress of Black Friday by doing some local shopping. You’ll find one-of-a-kind gifts at the 21st Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Artisans Festival in West Tisbury, November 24 and 25. Meet artists from throughout the Vineyard, learn about their creative process, and pick up treasures from handmade sweaters and soap to furniture made from reclaimed wood.

On the Upper Cape, don’t miss Heritage Museums & Gardens’ event, “Gardens Aglow,” featuring nine miles of holiday lights. The 2,000 strands of lights are accompanied by music and dance performances, holiday crafts, and a model train exhibit made of natural materials. Running through December, the event is one of many in Sandwich’s month-long “Holly Days,” which includes breakfast with Santa, caroling, a tree lighting, and Shop Small Saturday in support of local businesses, among many other events.

If you just can’t get enough of holiday lights, check out Mashpee’s annual Christmas parade on December 9. This evening parade features floats illuminated with festive lights and live music. The parade winds through Mashpee Commons and ends at South Cape Village.

Not to be left out of the holiday fun, Nantucket has its own special traditions. This Thanksgiving, the Nantucket Whaling Museum is hosting a Festival of Wreaths November 22, 24, 25 and 26, when the walls of the old candle shop will be adorned with handcrafted wreaths. From quilted wreaths and ring buoys to backdrops of fresh greens, the Nantucket community has busily crafted for this week-long silent auction. It’s a great way to support the Nantucket Historical Association, and add some local décor to your holiday collection. Also be sure to check out the Nantucket Festival of Trees, with over 80 creatively decorated trees, at the Whaling Museum from December 1 to 31.