Although I’ve visited Colonial Williamsburg many times, I’ve not gone in December to see the Christmas decorations. There’s no particular reason for that, but this year I decided that I really wanted to see them. When Ailsa over at Where’s My Backpack announced this week’s travel theme to be circles, I thought it was a perfect way to show some photos from last weekend.
I found the wreaths fascinating, which is why I’m sharing them here. They aren’t pictures I’d blow up to put over the fireplace, but they’re definitely worth looking at. If you received this in an e-mail, I suggest clicking on the title and going to the actual blog to see the gallery. When you roll your mouse over the photo, you’ll see a pop-up that describes some of the materials used.
The wreaths contain only materials local to Williamsburg, Virginia. This is why the one wreath uses dried flower centers and moss to create a pineapple shape – pineapples are not local to Virginia. It was a symbol of hospitality and status, which is why it is seen so frequently in decorations and motifs.
One of the cast members was talking about the wreaths to a bunch of us and made the observation that the south-facing side of the Duke of Gloucester Street used mostly dried materials because it faced the sun all day. The north-facing side used a lot of fresh materials. I paid much closer attention to the differences of the sides of the street after that!
Christmas decorations were simple in Colonial America. Times were hard and food was not usually used in as something frivolous as a decoration nor was there was much celebration, such as you might see today. My fellow blogger at Belle Grove Plantation wrote up a great post on Christmas in Colonial America and I invite you to look over her excellent summary. The website for Colonial Williamsburg also discusses Christmas in Williamsburg, here and here.
I do have a lot more pictures of my visit and over the next few weeks, will share more decorations with you!