7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Colonial Williamsburg Christmas by Cynthia Howerter

There’s nothing like Christmas at Colonial Williamsburg. Beginning Thanksgiving week, nearly every house and shop on Duke of Gloucester Street is decorated with Christmas finery. I'm in need of some new ideas for door decorations. What about you? Let's stroll together along Colonial Williamsburg’s main street and get inspired.

People often think that all of the outdoor Christmas decorations at Colonial Williamsburg are rather elaborate, but the simple decorations on this plain six-panel door prove otherwise.

This beautiful wreath caught my eye. I couldn't help but wonder if the gentleman of the house had recently been pheasant hunting. Because the colonists wasted little, it appears that his wife found a lovely way to use the feathers along with apples and magnolia leaves. 

Who wouldn't love to hang this beautiful swag on their front door (photo below)? If you look closely, you'll see that only six different items - one apple, two oranges, pine branches, pine cones, magnolia leaves, and wheat heads - are used to enhance the arched panels on this lovely door.

By the looks of the pheasant and wild turkey feathers on the swag below, the owner of this house must have accompanied the other gentleman on his hunting trip. Bright yellow yarrow, orange Chinese lanterns, and large pine cones are used effectively to compliment the feathers.

I'm beginning to think that a number of men who live on Duke of Gloucester Street went on a group hunting trip! The deer antlers this gentleman brought home were put to use by his very creative wife. Note the antlers in the two wreaths and above the doors. 

A close-up allows us to see that pheasant feathers and red berries were used along with the antlers. It must have been quite a hunting trip.

Notice the pineapple - a colonial symbol of hospitality - prominently displayed between the antlers. If you look closely, you'll also see some lovely green holly leaves. 

At the same house, two sizes of apples, small grapevine wreaths and pine roping frame this box window and the deer antler wreath.

What a clever use of apples in this sign!

To achieve an exquisite entry, simply combine two sizes of apples, boxwood, several pomegranates, red berries, and pine.

Rather than cover the lovely arched window above the double front doors, this owner adorned the porch railing with a large wreath.

I'm so glad you were able to join me in Colonial Williamsburg. I hope these photos have given you some ideas for your own door decorations. May you have a very merry Christmas, and because I won't see you again until after the first of the year, please allow me to also wish you a healthy and joy-filled New Year.  Fondly, Cynthia Howerter

All Photographs ©2014 Cynthia Howerter

Award-winning author Cynthia Howerter loves using her training in education, research, writing, and speaking to teach and inspire others about a time in America that was anything but boring. A member of the Daughters of the American revolution (DAR), Cynthia believes history should be alive and personal.

Visit Cynthia's website: Cynthia Howerter - all things historical



  1. Lovely decorations! Thank you for sharing. I hope someday to visit Colonial Williamsburg during the holidays--maybe next year.

  2. Thank you so much, Kay M. I do hope you're able to visit Colonial Williamsburg - especially between Thanksgiving and Christmas when the Christmas decorations are displayed and the weather is cooler. Merry Christmas!

  3. Enjoyed the photos, very pretty decorations. Thanks for sharing.
    Blessings, Tina

  4. You are so kind, Mrs. Tina! I'm so glad you stopped by. A very merry Christmas to you.

  5. Makes me wish I could visit again! S

    1. Hello, Susan! You are so dear. When you visit Colonial Williamsburg again, we'll get together!

  6. My daughter and I visited in Christmas of 2008, I remember the lovely fruit wreaths. I loved visiting Winter Wonderland at Yankee Candle Company.

  7. Oh, Regina, I'm so glad you were able to see the gorgeous decorations in person at Colonial Williamsburg! The display at Yankee Candle Company is also wonderful. Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I wish you a very merry Christmas!

  8. I love our family get togethers! we always ate oyster stew for Christmas day breakfast ! Rhonda nashhall@aol.com
    Congrats on all the new releases. All the books sound wonderful!!!

  9. Hi, Rhonda! Thanks so much for visiting Colonial Quills today. We are so happy you stopped by. Oyster stew sounds wonderful to me - I'm fond of the oyster stuffing my mother used to make after she got the recipe from Colonial Williamsburg. Wishing you a very merry Christmas!


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