An old-fashioned island Christmas

by Nancy Beal

Beals Island had no bridge to the mainland until 1958, so for four sisters born in the 1940s, Christmas was not about department stores, cultivated trees, or fancy light displays. It was simple, family-oriented and religious. “We were taught that it was Jesus’ birthday,” says Vanessa, next to the oldest. The family started the day by going to church and taking part in the traditional Christmas concert, singing noels and speaking their “pieces.”

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