Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spreading Holiday Cheer

Well, all the packages filled with Christmas goodies and presents have been mailed. I still have to drop by two neighbor's houses to deliver homemade goodies & take some of my fudge to Lambspun tonight, Tuesday, to share around "the table." In the real life Lambspun, there really is a long library table in the main room which is packed every Tuesday night with fiber workers---knitters, hookers (crochet), stitchery, & spinners are in the corner & weavers in the adjoining rooms. Needless to say, with that many people, we usually have food in the midst of the table. I also sent off packages of chocolate mint fudge, cranberry-orange-nut break, pumpkin-nut bread, & gingersnap cookies to my dear friends-sisters in Northern Virginia, Diane & Nancy. I was going to take the goodies in my suitcase when I leave this Thursday----until I felt how much they weighed. Wow! That stuff is dense. So, I found myself at the post office--once again. Last day to ship and have it arrive by Christmas.

Daughter Maria & I will be enjoying Christmas Eve dinner with my old friends, so it will be a special treat. Hostess & gourmet cook Nancy chooses a different theme for each year. This year, it's the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. No costumes required, but we all have to wear hats of some sort. And---bring a gift which has some connection to the theme and starts with a "T." We also have to come up with a riddle, a la Mad Hatter's guests in Alice in Wonderland. I found a cute "period" pillbox hat (circa late 40's) at a vintage clothing shop last weekend, but I'm not one for coming up with riddles. So---I'm choosing to do a rhyme instead---taking my cue from the tipsy door mouse himself.


You remember the door mouse, don't you? He was hiding in the teapot and would recite poetry: "Twinkle, twinkle, little bat. How I wonder where you're at. . ." Frankly, I suspect that mouse was sipping more than tea.

After Christmas Day, Maria & I are treating ourselves to a few days farther south in Virginia in the beautiful historic Colonial Williamsburg, located between Richmond and Norfolk. We are staying in the Lodge right in the heart of the colonial town. If you have never heard of Colonial Williamsburg, I invite you to check out the website for this wonderful, beautifully-restored colonial era town. All the townspeople are dressed in authentic apparel and engaged in the typical activities of townspeople back in the late 1600's & early to mid-1700's American Colonies.



I've always wanted to be in Colonial Williamsburg for the Christmas Holidays and experience all the holiday festivities. Music, dramatic presentations, decorations, and holiday events. In addition to all the holiday traditions, I also love to do "something different" for the holidays. It keeps things interesting.

How about you? What's the most out of traditional holiday thing or trip you've done?

21 comments:

Diane P said...

If you get a chance to go to Monticello, Jefferson's plantation, stop. He was an amazing man.

I love all of the quilts they have in Williamsburg. My students couldn't get over the lightening bugs since we don't ever see them. We loved the ghost tours.

Lorna Barrett said...

When he was in the Army, Mr. L. was stationed at Fort Monroe, which is near Williamsburg, so he has often told me tails of Christmas at Williamsburg. Of course, he was stationed there before Williamsburg became so commercial. Still, I think it would be a magical place to spend a few days during the holiday season, and I've suggested it we try it some day. (A year when I'm not under deadline.)

Tell us all about it when you get back, Maggie.

Laineshots said...

Oh my, you ARE doing different things for this Christmas! We all want to hear all about both. Wish I were going to Nancy's house with you - that sounds like fun.

I went to WIlliamsburg one December, and it was just after a rather deep snowfall. It was quiet, and just as wonderful as you'd think. Have a great time!

Sheila Connolly said...

I'd love to see Williamsburg again--my only trip there was with my daughter's fifth-grade class, and I was responsible for making sure a quartet of kids didn't vanish, so I may have missed a few of the sights. Plus half the tour took place in the dark, so we were reduced to feeling the beautiful hand-crafted furniture pieces.

It's up there right after my hope to go to Plymouth (all of fifteen miles away) for Thanksgiving dinner some year.

I did treat myself to Monticello a couple of years ago--I was very impressed. It tells you so much about Thomas Jefferson.

Katreader said...

That sounds like a lovely trip. I'll be working on Christmas-and have worked every Christmas since the mid 90's. Sometimes it really stinks working in a 24/7/365 job.

Rural View said...

For years we always took a Christmas season trip. One year in Williamsburg, which was lovely in December. Another year we went to Panama City Beach, FL. We saw weddings on the beach, a marriage proposal via airplane towed banner (the couple was on a balcony on our floor - she said yes), and fireworks on the beach at midnight on New Year's Eve. I think that's my favorite holiday trip.

Maggie Sefton said...

Diane P---Oh, yes, indeed, I've been to "Mr. Jefferson's House" as the tour hostess phrased it. :) I'm a great admirer of Jefferson. I'm also a Virginian. My mother's relatives came to Virginia in the 1640's. Most of our ancestors came to this country to start a new life, start a career where they could control their advancement, and also for religious freedom. Having spent over a decade as an historical novelist, I LOVE the stories from our past.

Maggie Sefton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggie Sefton said...

Oh, you should treat yourselves to a visit, Lorraine. Believe me, Colonial Williamsburg is not "commercial" in the sense of Disney World, and all those other amusement parks, places. Not at all. Colonial Willaimsburg is EDUCATIONAL. Big difference. I remember CW before the Rockefeller Foundation came in and saved it from eventually being encroached upon in the late 50's early 60's. I came as a child and remembered that all of the beautiful colonial bldgs were there, and so was the educational focus. But as an adult, I began to worry, when you saw what was happening in other parts of the country. History is VERY important to me.

And that's what the Rockefeller Foundation did---they saved CW and kept its historical (not amusement) focus forever. They provided the funding to keep the bldgs in good condition and expand the surrounding lands so there was no danger of encroaching development. Yes, there are now buses that bring people in from farther away & you have to walk a little farther from the parking lots to reach the enclave---but that's more a result of our expanding US population. We Boomers got married and had kids all over the country & we just LOVED to take them to educational places. I mean. . .how many times can you listen to "It's a small world after all. . . ." Enough to send me screaming thru the Disney World gates.

Maggie Sefton said...

Laineshots---You know, I'm watching that Weather channel & it looks like Back East & MidAtlantic we'll have snow on Christmas Day & Dec 26th. Maria & I are driving there on Dec 27th, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Of course, I will be wearing my boots. :)

Maggie Sefton said...

Sheila, you were cheated! You didn't get to experience Colonial Williamsburg at all. You definitely need to return without kids to supervise. As an historical novelist at heart (over a decade), our American history is very important to me. You would love, love it. Go in the summertime. Then, you can take a trip to the nearby ocean if you'd like. :)

Maggie Sefton said...

Oh, Katreader---I'm so sorry you have to work on Christmas Day! Can't you trade with someone? Sounds like you've done more than your share. What kind of job do you have?

Maggie Sefton said...

Rural View---Sounds like you had a lovely time. And I think you're someone who really enjoys the beach. You should do that again & treat yourself.

Debra said...

My mom's family is from Virginia not far from Williamsburg. Virginia countryside is really gorgeous and they are known for keeping up their beautiful highways.
Did you know you will be close to several plantations? My family is descended from slaves who were on the Tyler plantation,longest house in the country and right on the James river
http://www.sherwoodforest.org/
There are several more close by
http://www.jamesriverplantations.org/

signlady217 said...

We did a family vacation in Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown with my husband's family in June of 2006 (the 399-year, not the huge 400-year celebration). So very, very cool! I want to go back. One bit of personal family history is that through my paternal grandmother, I am a direct descendent of Pocahontas! (I didn't know that when we were there, wish I had!)

Aurian said...

Wow, Lambspun exists! How wonderful! Christmas is tradition, spending time with family, not going on a outing here.

NoraA said...

My partner and I are long time visitors to Colonial Williamsburg. We started going back in the early 70's and our one year pass for this past year recently expired. One major readon I'd love to hit the lottery is so I could write that big check every year as a major donor. I love that area and would also love to retire there while I still have the energy to walk the town.

Maggie Sefton said...

Debra---Yes, indeed, I have been to a couple of the plantations along that lovely road. But it was years ago. And I can't wait until I have the opportunity to visit some more. I have another big historical novel inside my head, set in Colonial Virginia.

I love it that you have searched out your ancestors. We will definitely have to get together when I'm there sometime in the summer or spring or fall :) when I have more time for visiting. We've got some shared history, my dear.

If you want, email me maggie@maggiesefton.com and we can stay in touch.

Maggie Sefton said...

signlady---That's fascinating! You'll have to email me with some more info. I've already asked Debra to email me----look at all these historical connections we're making. I love it!

Maggie Sefton said...

Aurian---Yes, Lambspun is real. I just returned from there for tonight's get-together. Fudge was a big hit as usual. A couple of new stitchers, both young moms, one with her 3 yr old daughter were at the table for the first time. One knitting for the new baby she was going to deliver in a couple of months. The other was stitching on a lovely quilt she was making for a Christmas gift. Lovely.

Maggie Sefton said...

NoraA---I'm thinking about the yearly pass, too. And what a lovely thought about retiring there. Well. . .the weather is certainly milder in Tidewater Virginia. That's what we Virginians call that area of the state that lies inland from the Atlantic seacoast going westward into the state until the land starts to "rise" a bit in elevation. :)

The Tidewater area is rich farmland (or used to be). And Virginia is laced with several large rivers like the James that flow in from the Atlantic. Tidal rivers, like the Potomac in Northern VA where I grew up. And of course, the biggest crop the settlers learned to plant was. . .tobacco. And---if I remember my history right, it was the native Virginia tribes that showed the Jamestown settlers what that plant was good for. Needless to say, it was quite a hit in England. :) Am I remembering correctly, fellow Virginians Debra & signlady?