I have two favorite places: my living room and Colonial Williamsburg. One of them looks a lot better at Christmastime (well, okay, all the time), so last weekend my companion and I travelled a couple of hours south to see Virginia‘s second capital in all its Christmas splendor.
We joined a Christmas walking tour. A knowledgeable guide led our group of about 20 around the Historic Area to see some of the most noteworthy holiday decorations on public buildings and private homes.
Virtually every building is decked with wreaths and window treatments — even the gaol.
Only materials that were indigenous or imported to Virginia in the 18th century may be used in the decorations, which in many cases are more creative than their 21st-century counterparts, as an alligator-head wreath above the blacksmith‘s shop shows.
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Naturally, the so-called Williamsburg style, which incorporates real fruit in Christmas displays, is popular.
A wreath on the courthouse incorporates pomegranates and holly berries.
Artichokes make this a fairly expensive window treatment.
Some of the displays are thematic, like this wreath sure to attract the attention of coffee lovers; real coffee beans are strung together, and the “steam” is actually wool.
The silver of the tankards and the evenness of their arrangement in this wreath at Chowning’s (fabulous!) Tavern keeps the display from looking too tacky.
Even residents who don’t celebrate Christmas find a way to get into the decorating spirit.
Christmas season in Colonial Williamsburg runs through January 2. I’d encourage you to visit if you can, and I hope this post gives you some decorating ideas for your own home.
The best lodging options in Colonial Williamsburg are:
I fell in love with travel on a trip to Mexico when I was nine years old. Since then, I’ve travelled the globe from Israel to El Salvador. I’ve skied the Swiss Alps and hiked national parks like Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, and Virgin Islands. I’ve marvelled at masterpieces in the Prado, the Uffizi, the Huntington, and the National Gallery of Art. I’ve stayed in a cabin on a mountaintop in Norway and on a kibbutz along the Sea of Galilee, and been kicked out of the Ritz at the Place Vendôme. I’ve taken cooking classes from New England to the Caribbean, and watched a chef prepare traditional shakshuka in the kitchen of his restaurant in Tel Aviv. I weave historical research and my personal experiences together in writing this blog. I hope you find it helpful. Read more …