A Colonial Christmas
Williamsburg Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
December 27th, 2006 – by: eurowestgirl
After hearing for years about how beautifully Colonial Williamsburg decorates for Christmas, we headed down one sunny winter morning and got stuck in traffic for nearly three hours just trying to get 50 miles south of DC.
For most of the day, we walked around the town and went into the shops and house museums. Sitting along Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg has become a living museum and has reenactors in many of the houses and inns presenting Colonial era discussions of possible treason against King George of England and revolution. Some of the buildings are working blacksmith, cabinet maker, or brass shops, with the craftspeople discussion their work.
George was into some of the debates the reenactors were having, as he had just finished one of his many books on the Revolutionary War.
Along the main street, Duke of Gloucester, vendors offer warm apple cider and deliciously soft cookies. After several hours of walking around, it still wasn't time for dinner but most of the museums were about to close. George wanted to hurry up and visit as many craftspeople as possible, and i was practically starving, so we stopped at the food vendor and soon I had an apple cider in one hand and a cookie in the other. Talk about comfort food! I felt like a little kid again. (My mom would always bend down and give something to my little brother while saying "one for this hand and one for the other hand" and he would be the happiest little clam afterwards.
Williamsburg has changed since I last visited. They've really tried to have more representations of daily life, although I think we get a feel for the gentry and craftspeople more than the servants and slaves. One of my professors in undergrad cowrote a book about this, and I could see his point that history is recreated according to what we want to see as opposed to what "really" happened, yet this history is portrayed as "authentic."
Once night settles in, Williamsburg holds this spectacular event called The Grand Illumination. Fireworks illuminate the sky, cannons are fired, and the Fife and Drum Corps entertains the visitors. The houses that played a significant role in Virginia history are showcased with cannons fired at the illuminating of the large contained fire of each house. It's a really neat show, and we could hardly keep up with the Corps as they moved from house to house.
Before we left, George wanted to visit the shops just past the Colonial area, and we spent another couple of hours buying Christmas ornaments, books, and browsing toys. We had such a lovely visit!
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