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Holiday Decorations at Colonial Williamsburg

Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg

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.

No, I wasn’t back in Hawaii; pineapple was imported from the West Indies during the colonial period.

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:
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