To learn more about the Christmas decorations in Colonial Williamsburg, the Twincesses and I joined a one hour Christmas Decorations tour. Luckily we had made our tour reservation months ago, because every tour was filled for the entire weekend. If you plan to visit Williamsburg during Grand Illumination weekend, be sure to reserve tours and meals in advance.
All of the wreaths, swags, and garlands are made with natural materials that are not limited to greens. At first, I was a little shy about walking on the steps of privately owned homes, but the tour guide encouraged us to look at the decorations as closely as we wanted. She said that people who live in Colonial Williamsburg live in a live museum.
Materials include everything from pomegranates to pineapples. Although fruits were certainly enjoyed by the Colonists in Williamsburg, they would have eaten these items instead of decorating with them. The tradition of decorating in this manner started in 1934, after extensive research at the Library of Congress.
Today, Colonial Williamsburg's expert floral designers stage public buildings in the colonial area, but local residents design the arrangements on their homes. Residents are competitive because everyone is hoping that they will win a blue ribbon for their decorations. Keeping up with the Joneses at its best!
Later this week, I'll share more specifics about my adventures in Williamsburg including some other special holiday events and a few delicious restaurant reviews.