Because I have family in Williamsburg, VA, I'm most fortunate to be able to visit Colonial Williamsburg each Christmas.
The holiday season brings out the best in the colonial city, with nearly every house and shop decorated for Christmas. While the full-out holiday decorations aren't entirely authentic – no sensible 18th c. Virginian would ever have wasted a perfectly good (and expensive) imported pineapple by sticking it on his front door – the decorating "rules" require that only materials available in 18th c. can be used, which rules out modern glitter & glitz, flashing lights, and, of course, Santa. The results are quite wonderful, and draw even more visitors than usual. Over the next week, I'll be sharing a few of my favorites from 2011.
This is the front of the Raleigh Tavern, a colonial hotbed of roiling revolutionary politics. Beneath Sir Walter's bust, the tavern's holiday wreath features not only festive pomegranates and greenery, but also clay pipes and curled pages of the Virginia Gazette in honor of the lively discussions that must have taken place among the gentlemen of the colony, here in the Raleigh's smoke-filled public rooms.
Curious to see how the tavern's door was decorated last year? Here it is in 2010.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.