In Williamsburg, Virginia we start the Christmas season on the day of Colonial Williamsburg’s Grand Illumination, always held the Sunday of the first full weekend in December. Early in the day, it’s fun to take a stroll down Duke of Gloucester (DOG) Street and view all the unique and beautiful wreaths and swags on the doorways. They are, for the most part, created from fruit, dried flowers, pine boughs, and plants. These decorations are closely monitored throughout the entire Christmas season and freshened whenever needed.
This year the weather was spectacular, mild and sunny, which drew even more crowds than usual. While there we observed a fun colonial auction. A Colonial Williamsburg interpreter served as the entertaining Auctioneer. Many lovely and interesting colonial items were auctioned off to the hundreds of folks gathered on the lawn not far from the magazine.
This year also was a first for the recently installed ice rink, Liberty’s Ice Pavilion, which many people of all ages were enjoying. There were various stations up and down the street where visitors could purchase cider or hot chocolate.
When darkness came, the smell of bonfires and the charming lit cressets along DOG Street filled the air.
The evening was culminated with fireworks set from three locations; The Palace Green, The Magazine, and the Capitol.
Our next Christmas event each year is attending one of the five magnificent Christmas concerts at The Williamsburg Community Chapel directed by the incomparable Ted Cornell. The concert began with the entrance of the young member’s who serve as part of the Colonial Williamsburg Fifers and Drummers, boys and girls ages 10 to 18. The evening is filled with both traditional and more modern Christmas music by the large adult and children’s choirs and an orchestra. It is a wonderful celebration of our God coming to earth as a human, Jesus, to redeem us from our sins. His free gift of salvation is available to every person who accepts Christ as their Savior.
We were fortunate to have some of our children and grandchildren visit us for Christmas which delighted us.
We tried something new that was lots of fun this year; we visited Busch Gardens “Christmas Town”. What a wonderful time of enjoying all the beautiful lights and decorations throughout the park. There were a number of live shows, all with a Christmas theme. One show, Gloria! shared the birth of Christ. Scrooge was based on the Dickens story. There was an ice show and others with dancing and singing.
We brought in the New Years watching the ball drop at midnight in Times Square. Our family always has the traditional meal of Hoppin John to bring in the New Year.
See more about Hoppin John at: https://janetgrunst.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=645&action=edit
Now, we celebrate Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas, sometimes called Three King’s Day. Epiphany is the Christian celebration that commemorates the revelation of the birth of Jesus to the wider world as told in the story of three wise men visiting the newborn Jesus with gifts in Bethlehem.
May your 2016 be blessed, and may you begin your new year opening your heart to all that the Lord has for you.