Out Of The Kitchen And Onto The Door— Williamsburg, Virginia Holiday Decorations

by: Marlene email

What do apples, lemons, pomagranates and boxwood sprigs have in common ?    They are all part of the grand Colonial Williamsburg tradition of decorating the doors in the Historic Area with wreaths, sprays and swags that  glow with the colors of   citrus fruits and apples, brilliant reds, yellows and orange set against the dark waxy green of  boxwood or pine sprigs.   And not just fruit laden wreaths appear– in the many years that we have visited Williamsburg, Virginia  during the  Christmas season we have seen a tremendous variety of  herbs,  dried plants, cinnamon sticks, seed pods of all kinds, magnolia leaves, etc. all used to create  the delightful door decorations which  grace the  Historic Area homes each year.   One of the most memorable was a very large wreath decorated with just about every type of shell that is common to our coastal area– oyster shells with mother-of-pearl interiors showing,  pink scallop shells,  swirled whelk shells, ribbed clam shells, dark bearded mollusks, long razor clams,  tiny periwinkles combined with boxwood, holly berry sprigs and long pine cones to create a  really  interesting decoration, one that really commemorated our magnificant  Atlantic Ocean-Chesapeake Bay region.

Just about every year we make a day trip to Williamsburg over the holidays.  It’s a relatively short drive from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, about an hour and a half or so depending on traffic,  and is such a holiday treat.  ( Actually, one of the nice things about living on the  Eastern Shore of Virginia  is how many fun events are so near by and easily accessed.)  Normally we make a  day out of it,  leaving  the Eastern Shore  in time to have lunch at  The Cheese Shop or The Trellis before walking down Duke of Gloucester Street to see all the creative displays.  Everything on every single wreath is natural, no plastic red apples, no golden styrofoam pears, no water-proof  ribbons, no silk ivy — it’s back to the basics,  real items,  things that were actually grown on land,  sea or air ( lots of feathers sometimes). 

This year was no exception,  the decorations looked terrific.  A bit pressed for time, we ducked into  The Cheese Shop for a quick bowl of  potato and leek soup  (definitely a favorite Colonial recipe)  and one of  their delicious Smithfield ham sandwiches before setting out to view this year’s crop of  decked out doors.  Pineapples, the traditional symbol of hospitality in Virginia, were in plentiful supply on both wreaths and swags.  Several wreaths featured the tiny but very sweet Virginia apple called the Lady Apple,  pale yellow  with a rosy blush.  A very clever wreath decorated with large lemons featured a clay pot below, looking for all the world like a miniture lemon tree affixed to the door.  But our very favorite decoration this year was a simple but elegant wreath of  fraser fir with an overlay of a wreath made from puffs of raw cotton,  dried cotton bolls and stalks,  burlap swags plus  pink pods of some type,  all  fashioned together most ingeniously.   Tracking  back towards Merchants Square we did a quick look-see into  the holiday windows in some of  their unique shops– the  Toy Shop and the Pewter Shop looked especially grand this year.  And then zip-zip,  back home to the Eastern Shore after having enjoyed immensely yet another holiday trip to Williamsburg.



Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.