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Welcome to the holidays on the islands, and let us hear from you

Welcome to the 2014 Christmas on the Islands Page, which features holiday shopping tips and information and news about events during November and December.

We welcome hearing from our readers about favorite places to shop or dine during the holidays, stories of your holidays on Hatteras or Ocracoke, and photos of the holiday lights and activities. We’ll be happy to publish your holiday recipes also.

You can send stories, events, photos, recipes or other information to

We hope our readers will also shop locally for their holiday gifts and other needs.  Our small, locally owned businesses need our support all year-round.

Most of the advertisers in our holiday shopping guide have websites, so you can shop even if you won’t be here.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are a great time to be on the islands. Have a terrific holiday season and enjoy.

(For information about advertising on our shopping guide, e-mail


Christmas events planned for Ocracoke

Ocracoke's Christmas events next month will include the traditional tree lighting and wassail party, along with the newer holiday house tour. Also on the schedule are a community Christmas concert, and the celebration will continue after Christmas with an oyster roast.

Here are the details.

Ocracoke Preservation Society Tree Lighting and Wassail Party.  Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the OPS Museum. There will also be a drawing in the annual quilt raffle.

Ocracoke Preservation Society's Historic Homes Tour. Saturday, Dec. 6, from 3 until 5 p.m. This year's tour features eight historic structures along Lighthouse, Creek, and Silver Lake Harbor roads.

The tour starts at the Island Inn, heads down Lighthouse Road to the Thaddeus Gaskins house owned by David Senseney, and to Michael and Paula Schramel’s home, originally the James Henry Garrish house. At the intersection of Creek Road is the Summer Spencer house, owned by Linda and Terry Dougherty.

On Creek Road, the tour continues with a stop at the Mattie Midgette Cottage, owned by Lynn Russell and Donna Inkster; the Clarence Scarborough House, owned by Norman Miller, and the Mary Francis House, owned by Tracy Smith. Around the corner to the right on the Silver Lake Harbor Road, the last stop is the Castle B & B.

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the OPS and can be purchased or reserved at the OPS Museum​ or  by calling 252-928-7375. Ticket prices are $15 for non-members and $12 for OPS members.

Community Christmas Concert. Saturday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Ocracoke Community Center. Features carols and music by school children and members of the community. ​

Ocracoke Seafood Company Oyster Roast and Shrimp Boil. Saturday, Dec. 27, from 2 until 5 p.m. on the harbor.  Also featured is fish stew.  Price will depend on market cost of seafood.

CHSS Drama Club will present 'A Place Called Christmas'

The Cape Hatteras Secondary School Drama Club will be presenting "A Place Called Christmas," the story of five toys left unsold on Christmas Eve and their search for a "place" called Christmas. Performances will be on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5 and 6, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available from any club member or at the high school. The cost is $4 for adults, $2 for students, and $1 for children under age 8.

Santa will visit Chicamacomico on Nov. 28

The traditional Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site & Museum end-of-season festivities will take place Friday, Nov. 28.

The site will open at 10 a.m. as usual. Santa will be “holding court” later that day in the Keeper’s Room of the 1911 Station (pictured) from 1 until 3 p.m. There will be staff and volunteers to guide you the right way. 
 Read More

UMC Combined Choir will present Christmas cantata
The United Methodist Church Combined Choir will present the Christmas cantata, "Go, Tell It! The Story of Christmas Around the World," at these churches and times:

• Sunday, Dec. 7, at 8:15 a.m. at  Little Grove  United Methodist Church.

• Wednesday, Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m. at Cape Hatteras Baptist Church.

• Sunday, Dec. 14, at 9:30 a.m. at Buxton United Methodist Church.
• Sunday, Dec. 14, at 11:15 a.m. at Hatteras United Methodist Church.

A guide to dining out during the holidays

The weather is much cooler, the days are getting shorter, and there are many fewer visitors on Hatteras and Ocracoke. Many of the islands’ restaurants have already closed and others will be closing shortly.

However, visiting during the holidays is much more popular with tourists than it once was. Spending Thanksgiving or Christmas by the ocean when there is less hustle and bustle is appealing to many. So if you are planning a visit to the islands this holiday season, we have some information for you if you don’t want to be fixing all of your meals yourself while you are on vacation.  
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Thanksgiving on the Islands: An ode to meat and football

On Nov. 27, millions of Americans will put on their stretch pants, pull out the remote control, and settle into eight hours of couch time and football until it’s time to dive headfirst into a pile of heart-attack inducing fare that only a glutton can appreciate.
In other words, it’s Thanksgiving, and it’s the greatest holiday in the universe.

And as much as I adore our little mountain chateau -- which is my new fancy word for trailer -- I truly miss Thanksgiving on the beach, where it’s often warm enough to barbecue and every family’s traditional meal has some sort of oyster involved.  
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Have breakfast with Santa on Dec. 6

The annual Breakfast with Santa will be on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Hatteras Civic Center in Hatteras village.

Breakfast will include bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, muffins, juice, milk, coffee, and more. There will be also be a hot cocoa station. Parents can choose between two seatings -- at 8 and at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children.  Kids 2 and under are free.

Santa will be available for photos with the children.

Tickets are on sale now at Hatteras Preschool and preschool parents.  Or call 986-2399.

Thanksgiving Bake Sale planned for Nov. 25

Our Lady of the Seas Church will have a Thanksgiving bake sale on Tuesday, Nov. 25, from 1 until 3 p.m. at the Church Hall on Highway 12 in Buxton.  Enjoy complimentary coffee while you peruse the baked goods.

Surf or Sound Realty collecting food pantry donations

The island’s food pantries continue to need our support during the colder months, and as they have done in years past, both of Surf or Sound Realty’s offices will serve as a drop off for Hatteras Island’s Thanksgiving Food Drive.

Donations from staff, neighbors and island friends will all make a difference in feeding those in our community who might otherwise go hungry during the slower winter months. Residents in the community and visitors are encouraged to drop-off donated items for the upcoming Thanksgiving Food Drive at either our Salvo or Avon office locations. Non-perishable food and pet food are welcome and appreciated.

Donations made to the Salvo office on the corner of Highway 12 and Rampart Street will go to Lifeboat Community Church Food Bank and those made to Surf or Sound’s Avon office across from the Avon Fishing Pier will go to the Hatteras Island Food Pantry.

Vacation Specialist Marcia Laricos explains: “We thank all of our vacationing guests for not only visiting our island, but taking time to be a part of the community by helping to sustain those who live here.”

Monetary donations for the Hatteras Island Food Pantry can be made payable by check to United Methodist Men and mailed to Hatteras Island Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1591, Buxton, NC 27920. Monetary donations for Lifeboat Community Church can be dropped off at 27563 Highway 12 in Salvo, or by mailing checks to Lifeboat Community Church, P.O. Box 84, Salvo, NC 27972.

Surf or Sound Realty, a premier vacation rental and property sales company since 1978, manages vacation homes in all seven villages of Hatteras Island. For vacation information, please visit or call 1-800-237-1138.

The annual Holiday at the Museum will be on Dec. 13

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum will host its fourth annual Holiday at the Museum on Saturday, Dec. 13, from noon to 5 p.m.

Children and adults alike will marvel at Winter Wonderland train display by master model builder Charlie Klein.  There will be a children’s holiday craft table, letters to Santa (almost certainly to receive a reply from Santa), and a professional puppet show. 
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Oyster Dressing: A coastal tradition for the holidays

Hardly a cook on the North Carolina coast gets through the Thanksgiving or Christmas season without thinking about oyster stuffing.

The name itself evokes visions of plump oysters hidden in a fluffy blend of herbs, breadcrumbs and rich stock, a dish so luxurious it begs a silver dish rather than a place inside the holiday turkey.   Read More

Toys for Tots pie sale will be Nov. 26

The annual pie sale to benefit Hatteras Island Toys for Tots will be on Wednesday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Burrus Red & White Supermarket in Hatteras village.

In recent years, the pie sale has been held in memory of the late Allison Fagley, who started the event, and her Friendship Bridge Day Care.

If you would like to donate a pie for the sale or make a monetary donation, call at 252-986-2241 or just drop by Dolphin Realty in Hatteras.

Hatteras Village Christmas Parade will be Dec. 13....WITH SLIDE SHOW FROM 2013

The very popular and well attended Hatteras Village Christmas Parade will be on Saturday, Dec. 13 , at 2 p.m.

The parade begins at Teach’s Lair Marina and continues up Highway 12 to the Hatterasman Drive-In.  Locals and tourists park along the route and get out to cheer on the floats, fire trucks, bike, horses, motorcycles, emergency and Coast Guard vehicles, bands, and, of course, Santa Claus.

Hatteras Village Civic Association will host all following for cookies and cocoa at the Hatteras Village Community Building for the announcement of winners. 

Anyone interested in entering the parade, please call Dennis Robinson at 475-4388 or send an e-mail to

Click here to see the slide show from last year's Christmas parade.
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Hatteras Island Food Drive is now underway

The 21st island-wide Food Drive to benefit the Hatteras Island Food Pantry is now underway.

Without your support, this non-denominational, non-profit community outreach will be unable to meet the needs of island residents and get through the winter, the period of greatest demand. 

Whether you give food or money, 100 percent of all donations goes to assist Hatteras islanders.

If you live off island or do not have time to shop, please make a monetary donation. It's tax deductible. Checks should be written to United Methodist Men and mailed to Hatteras Island Food Pantry, PO Box 1591, Buxton, NC 27920. Call or message me if you have questions or would like more info. Thank you!

Here are this year's convenient drop-off locations to date:

  • Hatteras Realty in Hatteras Village and Avon (Daily 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.)
  • Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Parish Hall in Buxton (24-hour drop-off box on porch) Frisco Shopping Center in Frisco (Daily 6 a.m.-9 p.m.)
  • Outer Beaches Realty in Hatteras Village, Avon, and Waves (Daily 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.)
  • Surf-or-Sound Realty in Avon (Daily 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)
  • Midgett Realty in Hatteras, Avon, and Rodanthe (Daily 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.)

If you need more information or have questions, please e-mail food drive organizer, Linda Browning, at