Christmas in Williamsburg: 300 Years of Family Traditions

Christmas in Williamsburg: 300 Years of Family Traditions

by Karen Kostyal, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
     
 

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Bring the warm glow of Christmas past into your home with nostalgic Williamsburg flavor. The perfect holiday gift, this gorgeously illustrated, handsomely designed book will become a family keepsake and a seasonal celebration of our nation’s past. Packed with traditions, crafts, recipes, and customs that span three hundred years of American Christmases, this

Overview

Bring the warm glow of Christmas past into your home with nostalgic Williamsburg flavor. The perfect holiday gift, this gorgeously illustrated, handsomely designed book will become a family keepsake and a seasonal celebration of our nation’s past. Packed with traditions, crafts, recipes, and customs that span three hundred years of American Christmases, this volume traces the rise of the holiday from colonial times to the present. Exclusively shot reenactment photography and beautifully illustrated history bring traditions of yesteryear such as make-a-wish holiday tree tags, handcrafted hot chocolate, Victorian style paper chains, and hand-crafted clove orange pomanders straight to your family’s living room for a more meaningful family holiday season.
 
Also showcased are Colonial Williamsburg festivities and traditions such the Grand Illumination—which launches the Christmas season with fireworks, wreath-making workshops, Christmas concerts, recipes, and more. You’ll feel like you are in Williamsburg with luminous photographs of historic places, artifacts from the Williamsburg craft museum, and hands-on activities for kids. Turn the pages and watch the sights and smells come alive—Christmas has come!

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Beth Karpas
This slim book is a surprisingly rich resource for the history of Christmas in America. Using the backdrop of Williamsburg, Virginia, the authors present a short history of how Christmas was celebrated during each century from the 1600s to the present. As the reader gets closer to the present, the book focuses more on the differences between Christmas celebrations in colonial Williamsburg and contemporary interpretations. For instance, the tradition of the Williamsburg wreaths, which spread across the United States in the twentieth century, began when the women of 1930s Williamsburg wanted to decorate like the colonists but could not find any first-person resources describing decorations—so they made up their own. The layout of this book is particularly good. Photos of contemporary reenactors are interspersed with historic art. A facsimile of the 1897 "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" letter is just one unlikely treat for readers. A colonial hot chocolate is one of several recipes. A few crafts and other holiday ideas inspired by Williamsburg's history are interspersed as well, with step-by-step instructions and photos. The jacket says, "Bring the warmth of a Williamsburg Christmas into your own home!" It is an unfortunate statement, as this book tells a common history and could have a much wider readership. It is clear that this book is as much a promotion for today's colonial Williamsburg as it is a historic resource. That said, it is a wonderful resource for odd facts, recipes, and homemade holiday projects. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up—While Kostyal talks about the holidays during the 19th and 20th centuries, the bulk of the book, and indeed the wonder of it, concentrates on colonial times, played out by costumed interpreters of all ages. Food, gifts, activities, and decorations are lovingly described, and several recipes and crafts are included. Epstein's full-color photographs are wonderful, providing an inviting window into the past. Teachers, parents, and scout leaders will find the book useful, and anyone who is interested in American history and holiday celebrations will be delighted.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426308673
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
1,193,311
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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