BOOK NAME: Christmas in Williamsburg
AUTHOR: K.M. Kostyal
When I say the word Christmas, what comes to mind? Things like Christmas trees, mistletoe, and the smell of cookies baking are probably just a few. While imagining this, have you ever stopped to think about where Christmas and the traditions associated with it came from? Most of these traditions are recent and come from many different counties. Many of them were brought by some of our earliest European settlers in Williamsburg and others were originated in America when they came here.
For example, a man from Germany introduced the Christmas tree to Williamsburg and it stuck as an annual tradition (hard to imagine Christmas without it). Today you think of the family sitting around the tree with presents for the kids underneath. But back in colonial times this holiday was not geared for the family, but was mostly a festive holiday party primarily for adults. Many people in colonial times got married during this holiday season because it was the only time the entire family was gathered. Even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were married during Christmas.
This book describes American Christmas history and traditions from the past and present. It also gives instructions on how to mimic these traditions so that you may enjoy them at home. I followed the craft instructions for the paper chains and as I decorated our tree with my handmade crafts, I felt like it really made this Christmas special by reminding me where our traditions came from. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to put some of the old Williamsburg traditions into their own Christmas. Have fun doing this with your family and have a very Merry Christmas.