Many years ago, before the European settlers brought the very first Christmas tree to America, the Yule log, a strong large tree stump was cut down by the settlers of Williamsburg and hidden in the woods until several days before Christmas. The town’s people would dash in a passionate search until the Yule log was found – a victory! On Christmas Day, they would sprinkle the log with holly sprigs and light it on fire – all in the spirit of good luck.
The Yule log tradition is one of the many enchanting ways Christmas was celebrated by the original settlers of Colonial Williamsburg, now the largest and most aspiring historical restoration in the country.
A journey through Colonial Williamsburg is both intriguing and delightful as it so wonderfully portrays the world of yesteryear. Both Christmas and the New Year are very festive holidays for the people of Williamsburg – a place where one will never find commercialism, just an abundance of charm and rich tradition. Balladeers, mimes and madrigal singers enlighten the village. And, at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the distinctive sounds of muskets echo throughout the land just as they did in the eighteenth century.
A Williamsburg Christmas is a spectacular depiction of yesteryear. Visually, it is a beautiful floral showcase, abundant in design and history. Because the people of Williamsburg believe in using lavish fruit, berries and nuts in their arrangements, holiday decor was always brilliantly festive as people could eat the special nourishment the arrangements offered.
The predominant green used in the 3,000 yards of garland hung each year is soft, white pine. The exhibition halls are also richly decorated with magnolia, hemlock, pine, holly, rosemary and other greens.
To bring the charms and eighteenth century elegance of a Williamsburg Christmas to your home, here are a few ideas from SKAFF FLORAL CREATIONS which are simple to implement, yet beautiful to look at:
- Try a wreath that combines chinaberries, lotus pods, oranges, lemons and limes.
- Take some roped and doubled white pine or an assortment of Christmas evergreens such as juniper, cedar, boxwood and spruce to wrap around your doorway. This gives fullness and adds character.
- Hang a boxwood wreath of pomegranates, lemons and cones or a boxwood wreath adorned with apples with pine roping falling from clusters of magnolia leaves and pineapples.
Dining Room Table
- The centerpiece is often a small picturesque scene with imitation lakes and porcelain swans, shepherds and sheep. Small miniature flowers, mosses and colored gravel are added to enhance this vignette.
- A decorative conical table top boxwood tree adorned with berries, pods, lady apples and preserved flowers give the table setting the finishing touch for your holiday celebration.
- A classic silver Revere bowl filled with luxurious garden roses, holly, ilex berries help set the perfect table.
- Edible and decorative accessories such as lady apples, hazelnuts, walnuts, lemons, limes and cumquats not only carry the Williamsburg theme but also add color and interest to your table.
- Use some of your family heirloom silver or crystal vases filling them with boxwood, white pine bayberry, and holly berries to grace your coffee or side tables.
- Dried and fresh materials combines on a mantle with Okra pods, yarrow, pine cones, lady apples, magnolia leaves, red cedar and sumac make a beautiful accent piece.
- A pair of topiaries trees placed on either end of the fireplace mantle adds formality, symmetry and height to the setting and creates a focal point.
If you are interested in creating a Colonial Williamsburg Christmas in your home this season, call SKAFF FLORAL CREATIONS for personal assistance. The designers at SKAFF (331)801-0018 can help you achieve the look you desire.