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The waters of Mystery Bay were glassy on Sunday as the children of Marrowstone Island lined up on the dock outside the Nordland General Store.
Decked out in Christmas sweaters and red hats, some drinking hot cocoa merrily, others peeking out from behind their mothers’ legs, the kids watched and waited.
Suddenly, there was a voice from the crowd: “There he is!”
Gliding around the corner of Griffith Point, Santa Claus appeared in the bay.
But instead of being towed by his famous herd of reindeer, Santa was at the bow of a fishing boat, waving and chuckling merrily, as the boat cut smoothly through the still waters of the bay.
“It’s all about the kids,” said Tom Rose, owner of the Nordland General Store and one of the many Christmas elves who organized Santa’s arrival on Marrowstone Island on Dec. 2.
For Rose, the best part of hosting Santa at the store is watching the kids’ faces light up with delight, as they did when he disembarked the boat and walked up the dock with a “Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!” before reaching the arms of the children who were waiting for their Christmas hug.
“Santa arriving by boat is so fun because you get to see the kids and they appreciate it so much,” said Patricia Earnest of Marrowstone Island. “It brings families together.”
While Santa sat and listened to the wishes of many Marrowstone kids, adults got a chance to do a bit of Christmas shopping as artists from the island showed their wares at the Marrowstone Makers Market, hosted by Mystery Bay Sails and Canvas owner Suzi Clinefelter.
“Buying local gifts is a different form of nourishing, by keeping creative juices alive in your neighbors, and by sharing locally,” Earnest said.
She sold her handmade jewelry, while other local artists sold hand-dyed scarves, designs and drawings.
“The world has grown so big,” Earnest said. “I think the new growth is inward.”