Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Williamsburg Christmas

Back in the 1980s, before digital cameras, my Christmas gift from my husband was a trip to Williamsburg to enjoy their holiday festivities and decorations. I fell in love with the concept of decorating with natural materials especially after taking a workshop with Libby Hodges Oliver who was in charge of the designs for Christmas decorating at Williamsburg for many years. Around that same time, she published a book, Colonial Williamsburg Decorates for Christmas, which became a favorite part of my permanent library of books.

For years I used that book as my guide in creating wreaths, centerpieces, and even an apple fan that hung over our door with a pineapple in the middle. As the years went on though and we aquired two more kids, I began to cheat a bit with artificial greens and fruit. Life changes and sometimes we need to make tradition a bit easier to handle.

Two quick funny stories about my Williamsburg decorations. The first year we had our adopted kids (they were 5 and 6 years old) in the house, I set out the fresh fruit arrangement on the dining room table and later, when we were entertaining, I noticed that someone had taken a bite out of each piece of fruit and replaced it carefully upside down so the bite would not be noticed.

Then another year during one of our weird winters where it froze one day and warmed up nicely the next, I didn't realize that the pineapple had ripened even more in the sunny weather and when it wasn't frozen, it dripped on our guests as they came in the front door.

If after all that, you are still interested, check out Oliver's book in the library or try to pick one up at Amazon. The original was published in 1981. Some copies are available from used book dealers. Meanwhile, here's a link to Christmas Decorations from Williamsburg. There's a page that has directions for making a wreath of greens and fruit.

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