Santa's Village at Yankee Candle in Williamsburg
A Unique Experience in a Town full of History
There is much to see in Williamsburg, Virginia. The variety that is offered spans a wide range, from history and art to interactive entertainment, and there is something for everyone. From Colonial Village, Jamestown and Yorktown Settlements, Presidents' Park, and the Mariner's Museum, to Miniature Golf and Busch Gardens, the whole family can enjoy a wide range of vacation pleasure in the state of Virginia.
To Grandmother's House We Go
The primary reason for my daughter and I to travel to Williamsburg so often is to visit my Mom. She lives around the corner from the Colonial Village and very close to Jamestown Settlement and Presidents' Park. There are premium shopping outlets a mile or so away and a miniature golf course across the street from where she lives. The miniature golf course is on our list of places to experience in the near future. In the meantime, we make sure we take time from our Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday preparations to visit with Santa Clause in his village at the nearby Yankee Candle flagship store.
An Old Fashioned Country Store
In the winter, there is one place that will keep you warm, both inside and out, and that is Santa's Village at Yankee Candle. Its exterior is designed as an old-fashioned general store. There are giant white rocking chairs to sit in and wreaths on every post.
As soon as we walked in the doors at the Williamsburg shops, we were welcomed by a group of statues representing different styles of dress worn by Father Christmas. The entrances to the Yankee Candle shops are to the right and left. Browsing the displays and sniffing the samples is a holiday treat for everyone's "inner child." One of our favorite scents is "Christmas Cookies."
Photo Album from our recent visit to Santa's Village
A beloved classic read every December 24th
Illustrations for this edition were created by Jan Brett, a beloved children's book illustrator.
A Child's Favorite Memory
Waiting for Santa to Arrive
Walk past the Father Christmas statues, and you will find irresistible carts full of delicious food gifts arranged around various themes, such as Gingerbread mixes and Chowder from Cape Cod, which beckon you to take a closer look. A few feet farther on is a small dining area with a water fountain in the middle of it. Overhead, the sky is bright, and reflects the time of day outside the store. Beyond the water fountain is a set of 2-dimensional boards shaped and painted like gingerbread cookies, for children to poke their heads through and pose for pictures. Above Santa's chair is a set of overhead train tracks. The train has a working whistle and blows smoke, and visits the toy store and cafe.
A Special Visit
When Santa appears, my daughter and I hold hands as she waits in line eagerly for her turn to sit on his lap. They exchange fond greetings, as if they are old friends, whisper to each other, give each other a hug, and my daughter thanks him. When she turns to leave, Mrs. Clause gives her a candy cane, and she says "thank you" for that, too. She will not tell us what she has asked Santa for, because that is part of the magic of Christmas for her.
When our visit with Santa is over, there is the decorated village to walk about. Decorated trees frame the entrance to the magical village, where it snows every five minutes. A starry sky covers a lighted bridge, which is surrounded by smaller lighted Christmas Villages on each side. Carolers serenade shoppers from a gazebo in the corner. After we stop to sing along, we walk through the toy store, she plays checkers with her aunt and dresses up like a princess, and we enjoy admiring more statues of Father Christmas, some closer to her size.
Naughty or Nice?
Next to the toy store is Santa's Workshop. Each time we visit, there is a different arrangement of furniture and décor, and fresh opportunities for taking lovely holiday photos. This year, In the center of the workshop is a desk with a notebook on it. There are sheets of paper in the notebook that are divided into two columns, labeled Naughty and Nice . My daughter asks me to read the words at the top, and writes her name in the column labeled "Nice." Satisfied that Santa will pay her home a visit to leave a gift for her on December 24th, she is ready to return to Grandma's house to play and eat supper.
While I created this hub, my daughter enjoyed watching me upload all the pictures we took at Santa's Village , reliving her favorite moments of her visit. This process is part of what makes the place so special to family events...the pictures that remind us of the great times we have together, both during the holiday season and throughout the year. The warmth that such memories bring in winter is priceless. They keep our heartstrings connected across the miles and the expanse of time between visits. They are our "roses in December," which keep us going when the world outside our doors is at its coldest.
Dreams do come true
An inspiring film about a young girl whose faith in Santa is restored .
Yankee Candle Flagship Store Locations
© 2011 Karen Szklany Gault