Monday, January 6, 2014

A Colonial Williamsburg Christmas 2013

For a few days between Christmas and New Years we visited Colonial Williamsburg! The first festive event we attended was the Illumination of the Taverns.

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All of the buildings of the historic area are lit by candles in each window. This is the capitol.
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Also all the doorways are decorated with evergreens and wreaths.  Food items and such are not period accurate, but a fun yet natural adaptation for the modern desire to decorate for Christmas.  Colonists would never waste food!  The squirrels love to snitch the food items, if they can access them!  Today other creative elements are added to pronounce a theme for the tradeshop or the home of one of the citizens of the historic area, which is always fun to see! Colonial Williamsburg continues to be a real town with real residents with an appreciation for history, creativity and a sense of festivity, These decorations are even eligible for prizes!

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In between looking at decorations we attended some holiday programs! 


A Christmas Tale at the Raleigh Tavern was a wonderful program of theater and music during the Twelve Days of Christmas!  At this program one of my hopes of Christmas was achieved. We got to sing The Holly and the Ivy!  Our pastor at church talked about it...but we got to sing it's truths and symbolism (of which he spoke) here!


We also saw Thomas Jefferson, who ended his program with a young boy from the audience, a sword and a quill!



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The cupola of the Governor's Palace by day...



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That night we attended an evening program, Christmastide, which I blogged about here.  As usual, we got the same tour guide as we always do for this program. Well, we didn't get him last year, so last year didn't seem quite right.  Everything was wonderful with him in the lead once again!


We also saw the Williamsburg Old Time Radio Hour, which I blogged about last year, here!


We also saw Patrick Henry.  I was so overcome with his thunderous words that I completely forgot to take a picture of him. Mr. Henry has so impacted me, that during quiet moments I read a book about him, A Son of Thunder. I highly recommend it!


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A tour of Bassett Hall, which was the seasonal home of the Rockefellers who financed the restoration of the historic area in the 1920's and 1930's...

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Sadly, this is the last time we'll get to see Mrs. Rockefeller's lovely gown. It is now so fragile and delicate, it will go into permanent archives, away from light. This gown is only displayed during the Christmas season. As I recall, this is a late 1930's gown. Unfortunately I forget the name of the designer. She wore this gown for a 1941 painting, which can be seen here.

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That afternoon we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted, in French, by General Rochambeau! Alas, I was so overcome by his visit, that I completely neglected to take a rendering of him.


Illumination of the Palace Green...



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Afterwards we attended a grand concert at the Palace, with 6 instrumentalists and 2 vocalists, in powdered wigs and silks, performing the grandest of music in candlelight, including selections from Handel's Messiah!


Before we left we were able to meet with the Marquis de Lafayette, whom engaged us in many  interesting details from his life.  So overcome by his grand stories, I again neglected to take a rendering.


I shall close our holiday tidings to the historic area with this photo of the Palace cupola that my son took with my camera (he left his camera at home).



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