Yesterday was the first non-rainy weekend day that we've had this holiday season. To celebrate, we went to Colonial Williamsburg to see the fabulous Christmas decorations. Have you ever heard of them? We took a guided walking tour and so we learned a lot about them. Back in the 30s when the Revolutionary City first opened, tourists began to ask how Christmas would have been celebrated. This happened during a "Colonial Revival" period and so while this isn't the way actual 17th and 18th Century people decorated, it was the way that was determined that they could have. Wreaths and sprays and other decorations are constructed out of natural materials or any other available resources in Colonial times. Thus magnolia leaves join pomegranates, apples, pineapples, etc. in fabulous decorations for the exterior of the buildings. (Our tour guide said that if the Colonists had these materials, they would have displayed them INSIDE their houses and probably the fruit would have been eaten, not displayed.)
Above you can see an example of one of the famous crescents.
The next several photos were at the same house. They decided to go with a Cavalry theme and used many horse-related items.
This arrangement decorated the transom above the door
See the swords and stirrups?
I love this arrangement sitting up high on a gable.
I personally like the traditional fruit wreaths the best, but many places are embracing their original use and using themes of "kitchen," "tavern," "stable," etc. This one features cut up playing cards and dice.
There were even some gentlemen meeting on the street to discuss politics. Can you beleive that they were actually talking about going against the King?
In Virginia, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Christmas season did not begin until December 25th. It ran until Jan. 6--for twelve days. These 12 days were filled with celebrations, feast nights, parties, drinking, and other revelry.
The idea behind the decorations is that they have to look just as good and fresh on December 31 as they did on Dec. 1. Many homes and buildings that get the sun shining on them most of the day go with dried arrangements. You find the fresh fruit on the shady side of the streets.
The garden had many wreaths for sale, as well as all the fruites, and dried materials for making your own. I was tempted!
Just a simple wreath with holly and greenery is pretty!
I hope you enjoyed this taste of Colonial decorating!
Have a great day,