Sunday, May 22, 2022

A Look Back at Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg

The community gathered in front of the Courthouse steps for Colonial Williamsburg’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, which was in person this year. (WYDaily/Molly Feser)

WILLIAMSBURG — Every year, visitors come to the Historic Triangle for our many different holiday-themed activities, events, and to see the many beautiful decorations which adorn the area’s buildings and parks. For generations, Colonial Williamsburg has been the region’s focal point in exhibiting the warmth of the winter holiday season. Today, we will take a look back at Colonial Williamsburg’s Christmas celebration through the years.




Group of soldiers posing in front of the Governor’s Palace during a Christmas visit at the beginning of World War II, photo by Frank Dementi, 1941 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




Community Christmas tree on Market Square, photo by Thomas Williams, 1946 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




Colonial Williamsburg employees hanging Christmas greens on the door of the Governor’s Palace, photo by Thomas Williams, 1949 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




Balladeers entertaining guests dining at Chowning’s Tavern during the holiday season,
photo by Thomas Williams, 1950 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




A costumed hostess serving punch at a holiday open house for the community held on Christmas day, photo by Thomas Williams, 1951 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




Williamsburg Lodge employees carrying a yule log, a platter of fruit, and a platter of turkeys during a procession as part of a Yule Log Ceremony held at the Lodge, photo by James Mays, 1953 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




Dancers performing on a stage on Palace Green during one of the two inaugural Colonial Sports Days held in December 1957, photo by John Crane, 1957 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




Hospitality employees placing the Yule Log into the fireplace at the Williamsburg Lodge during the annual Yule Log Ceremony, photo by Gerry Rossner, 1963 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




Crew filming greased pole climbing contest for “Perry Como’s Early American Christmas” television program which aired December 13, 1978 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




A costumed interpreter adjusts elements of a holiday table setting in the dining room of
the George Wythe House that includes an eighteenth-century creamware epergne and accessories, 1980 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




Annual Folk Art Christmas tree and antique toy exhibit at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, 1981 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




The Colonial Williamsburg Art Museum’s 16-foot Folk Art tree, 2021 (Courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)




Special thanks to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for providing the imagery for this piece.




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