ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Christmas in Williamsburg: Traveling Historic America

Updated on November 24, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (Active AF Civil Air Patrol).

Christmas cannon traditional firing.
Christmas cannon traditional firing. | Source

Massive Development of a Historic Site

The first time I visited Williamsburg as a child, the site included just two blocks of old buildings on a muddy street and admission was free. Nearby streets of historic buildings were closed to the public, pending preservation activities.

At the end of the open two blocks sat a train track on which sat one railroad car. In it was a display of silk worms spinning silk. Aside from three volunteers in period costumes on the street and some small exhibits to view, this was the entirety of Colonial Williamsburg.

Today, the place is a metropolis that some call an "amusement park." However, it is much more enjoyable than it was in my childhood and I love to go there, especially at Christmas. from the 1970s to the end of the 20th century, the historic preservation and development of this site have multiplied the ground covered by the muddy street I first saw by one hundred times.

Fireworks in the historic district.
Fireworks in the historic district. | Source

I especially enjoy this area in Virginia, because my paternal grandmother, Bessie Spicer, was descended from the family of the famous Richmond Terrell in this state, dating back to the mind-1600s. This family also was ancestral to both President Barack Obama and pundit Rush Limbaugh.

Expansion in the 2010s

Williamsburg supports multi-million dollar construction expansion of two art museums at present as the arts district began expansion during Spring 2017. These museums will remain open throughout and include:

  • Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum: 326 West Francis Street
    Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum: Same address.

The arts are celebrated here in a number of additional ways:

  • Annual arts festival called An Occasion for the Arts, held during the first week in October.
  • Second Sundays: From March through December every year, street artists perform throughout Williamsburg.
  • Virginia Arts Festival: Musical performances of all kinds from international guests are celebrated all year. www.vafest.org/

A
Williamsburg Historic District,:
101 Visitor Center Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA

get directions

Bounded by Francis, Waller, Nicholson, N. England, Lafayette, and Nassau Streets.

Christmas Season 2018 Ticket Prices

.

Adult: $40.99 Day Pass

Youth ages 6 - 12: $20.49 Day Pass

.

Three-day and Annual passes are a much better deal.

Local residents receive significant discounts.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A workshop attached to a historic house.The Peyton Randolph House in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg
A workshop attached to a historic house.
A workshop attached to a historic house. | Source
The Peyton Randolph House in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg
The Peyton Randolph House in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg | Source
Map of Colonial Williamsburg.
Map of Colonial Williamsburg. | Source

More Successful Than Massachusetts Colony

The first year that colonists arrived in what would become Massachusetts was a horror. It was hard for the colonists and hard for the local natives. A bit later, Myles Standish earned the white man's "Indian" name Wotowquenange meant "cutthroat stabbers."

The Massachusetts settlement had no food or running water. The colonists brought no seed for crops, but they brought kegs of beer. Many died of disease, malnutrition, and hypothermia during the first winter. However, Williamsburg settlers fared better.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Decorated door for holidays. -- Notice the drum sticks and fifes representing the American Revolution.
Source
Source
Decorated door for holidays. -- Notice the drum sticks and fifes representing the American Revolution.
Decorated door for holidays. -- Notice the drum sticks and fifes representing the American Revolution. | Source
Source

Reenactors Show How Williamsburg Succeeded

The first non-native settlers in Virginia eagerly caught fish, clams, and even whales. Soon, they could sell excess fish, whale oil, and whale blubber at fish markets that rose up on locally built docks. Folks also hunted, gathered, and farmed when they learned how, working about 12 - 14 hours a day. At the historic site, dozens of men, women, and young people reenact what it was like to live in early Williamsburg.

When colonists became farmers, they raised the crops of corn (maize), barley, wheat, tobacco, and rice. They took their crops to town on Saturdays to the weekly Farmers' Market, which we also now have today! They sold to fur traders, seamen, merchants, and others. Farmers also raised chickens, pigs, and cows. If they were fortunate, they had fruit trees.

At home, the women and girls spent all day baking bread, cooking, gathering food for natural sources, helping on the farm, sewing, making their own threads and wool and cotton yarns and cloth, etc. You an see all this happening inside the historic buildings.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Historic house in the complex.
Historic house in the complex.
Historic house in the complex. | Source
Source

Historical Vacations

The United States Park Service and the US States make available a large number of historical landmarks to the local American public and visitors. The National Registry of Historic Places, local registries, and a wealth of historical societies offer travelers a chance to see The Thirteen Colonies as they were in the 1600s and 1700s.

Along with commercial enterprises, all of these entities produce vacation theme parks, some with working farms and villages like Williamsburg that are interesting and fun to visit. Such a trip to even one of these places can provide insight into the daily life of the American colonists.

During November, December, and early January, the people of the town and national park that is Colonial Williamsburg celebrate American Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, inviting travelers and local guests to attend gala dinners and parties in the style of the Colonies. It's a great way to spend Christmas.

Virginia is the first of the original colonies, and Colonial Williamsburg is a sound place to start when looking for daily colonial life and a traditional American Christmas.

The Original 13 Colonies

For review, the Original 13 Colonies are listed below, along with their working farms and historic villages that operate to bring travelers back to the days before thje American Revolution.

In the order of their creation, The 13 Colonies:

  1. Virginia Comonwealth, founded 1606
  2. Massachusetts: 1620
  3. New Hampshire: 1623
  4. New Jersey: 1623
  5. New York: 1624
  6. Maryland: 1633
  7. Rhode Island: 1636
  8. Connecticut: 1636
  9. Delaware: 1638
  10. North Carolina: 1653
  11. South Carolina: 1663
  12. Pennsylvania: 1682
  13. Georgia: 1732

November 2000-approved US Army Flash: Blue background  a symbol of the United States flag and the thirteen stars represent the original colonies.
November 2000-approved US Army Flash: Blue background a symbol of the United States flag and the thirteen stars represent the original colonies.

Sources

  • Brems, R. Step back in time at Colonial Williamsburg. Choshocton Tribune; November 20, 2018. www.coshoctontribune.com/story/news/2018/11/20/step-back-time-colonial-williamsburg/1982288002/Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  • City of Williamsburg, Virginia. www.williamsburgva.gov/ Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  • Colonial Williamson at History.org. Accessed November 15, 2018.
  • Routh, M.; Routh, K. It's time to remember what Colonial Williamsburg means. Virginia Gazette; November 24, 2018. Retrieved November 24, 2018.

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dpatullo741 profile image

      dpatullo741 

      7 years ago from UK

      Your hub is very convincing and your great effort is showing in it.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @prasetio30 - Thanks very much. Merry Christmas!

      @sligobay - You're right; I think the first year on Mars could be worse, perhaps impossible. The Mars Society has been collecting funds, conducting months-long simulations in isolated lands in the American Southwest almost yearly for many years, discussing spaceflight with private companies, etc.

      Private spaceflight companies are discussing mining the asteroid belt nearby, and we already have spaceports around the USA, with more to come. I am now reading a book prepared by an astrophysicist that outlines an agenda for colonization that takes into account the changes and accomodations humans will be experiencing in order to survive on Mars. I will review it on HP when I complete me reading. It does not sound like a happy first year.

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 

      7 years ago from east of the equator

      Williamsburg is a far cry from Mars. Are there plans afoot to colonize in the near future that you've caught wind of?

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love everything about history. Thanks my friend, you open my eyes again and again. I learn much from you. Take care. Merry Christmas!

      Prasetio:)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thank you all for the kind words and ratings, and for talking time to read this Hub. I've talked myself into going back to Williamsburg soon. I'll be sure to take pictures.

      Just read where Colonial Williamsburg continues to be open on Christms Day. Friends were on a 2-year waiting list for hotels there, so they made it! Hope they have a lovely time.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      Really enjoyed visitng Williamsburg a good few years ago. It was a very speical visit as a tourist. I enjoyed finding out about the forefathers of your country and really liked your hub because it reminds me of that great visit. Would love to go there again.

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 

      7 years ago from east of the equator

      Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy ,healthy, and prosperous New Year. Great reminder of the debt that we owe to our forefathers and the suffering endured.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Patty,

      Wonderful hub. I've always been interested in that part of our history. You presented it beautifully. Voted up and awesome.

    • SJKSJK profile image

      SJKSJK 

      7 years ago from delray beach, florida

      I have been to historic Williamsburg over Christmas and it is so charming. Your hub is great.

    • sweetmummy profile image

      Raylene Wall 

      7 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      what a cool hub! We'd love to visit the 13 colonies with our kiddos some day soon.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @L.L.Woodard - I had not thought of that film in many years. Don't think Mars will be a comfortable place for the first 20 years!-- And I thinks it;s too far form the sun to ever become warm enough to go outside without an environment suit.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Superb information here. I became sidetracked on the issue of "recruiting" senior citizens to live on Mars. The movie "Soylent Green" flashed through my mind.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      For our Hispanic, first British, and subsequent settlers, our Founding Fathers, and Native Americans, Christmas and all the Winter Holidays are a great time to honor American beginnings. They were hard and we made it through, though wounded in many ways. In 2010 and even as we approach Mars, it is also possible.

      Happy New Year 2011!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Patty Inglish, MS

      This trip has been on my radar too long. You convinced. What a wonderful tribute to our founding fathers. We forget the trauma and struggle and we must celebrate and honor their dedication.

      Great Hub!

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      I made the effort one year to travel to Willamsburg to really experience that old colonial life, unique to that part of the world and really enjoyed it and appreciated the history of the place. Would love to go back again and your hub tempts me back. Thanks.

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 

      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      We have this rich history which is difficult to remember. 30 years ago, I was teaching US History to 8th graders and decided to re-enact some of the famous battles. We made costumes, flags, and got some local 4-H er's to come with their horses. It was a really fun time. Now when I run into my old students, the first thing they say is, "Do you remember the time we marched all over the school?" And then comment how much fun history was. Thanks for the refresher.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Full marks for this realisticly written hub. One of the hubbers wrote an article where it read that the Pilgrim Fathers just landed there and all was love and friendship with the natives and all the white men were kind, show them the way to live, to the not-so-educated natives and so on. What a humbug. However, can you write something like that and that person is not really uneducated in one way but racism shows a lot up in the hub.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      7 years ago from Northern, California

      Okay, this entire article is really great! However, I have to say that the little side-bar you placed within the story regarding colonization of the moon and mars was stellar! You make a very good point in comparing our history with our future; it is far too often that we forget the things history has taught us. This is awesome Patty.

      K9

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Patty, I am very interested in the early colonist as I've spent years researching my ancestry and reading about the early days. I like your article as it really portrayed how rough thing were for those early settlers. Half of the Mayflower passengers died the first year since they were so unprepared for the climate. There food was so limited and they ate a lot of lobster.

      I enjoyed your hub. Rated up.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I don't know about us senior citizens going to mars. Even an eith hour drive seems overwhelming, anymore.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      It IS amazing. Kids need to know where we really started, and how. The knowledge will help, because Mars is going to be similar (no Indians or fish, though), but I hope advances are being prepared to ease the first few years.

      @onceupnatime66 and CMerritt, thanks for commenting!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      This was great Patti,

      Amazing how tough our "forefathers" really were, and what they had to endure to get this country started.

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 

      7 years ago from USA IL

      The Original 13 Colonies

      For review, the Original 13 Colonies are listed below, along with their working farms and historic villages that operate to bring travelers back to the days before thje American Revolution.

      In the order of their creation, The 13 Colonies:

      Virginia - 1606

      Massachusetts - 1620

      New Hampshire - 1623

      New Jersey - 1623

      New York - 1624

      Maryland - 1633

      Rhode Island - 1636

      Connecticutt - 1636

      Delaware - 1638

      North Carolina - 1653

      South Carolina - 1663

      Pennsylvania - 1682

      Georgia - 1732

      What a great refresher course for me.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)