Friday, December 23, 2016

Traveling and Traditions at Christmas Time

Traditions are at the root of many of the memories I hold dear. Family traditions link us to the past.  Local traditions epitomize the nature of a place. National traditions capture the heart of a nation. Never is this more true than at Christmas time. Christmas traditions in the US span the spectrum of festivities from observing the Advent to playing Secret Santa.

Here are a few of our favorite traditions. What is your favorite tradition? What will you travel for this season?

The National Christmas Tree

The National Christmas Tree sits south of the White House. It is surrounded by trees representing the each  state, the territories, and the District of Columbia to form a Pathway of Peace. This tradition began with President Calvin Coolidge.

Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets are a fun way to capture the holiday spirit.  My first experience with Christmas Markets began in Germany.  Special treats and crafts are yours to enjoy among the holiday decorations.

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are a very popular part of the modern American celebration of Christmas. The first strand was created by Thomas Edison in 1880. Today lights adorn house, community displays, boats and more. Extravagant displays have become tourist destinations.



Friday, December 9, 2016

Cool Things about a Trip to Mount Vernon at Christmas Time

A Camel
At one time George Washington paid 18 shillings to have a camel at Mount Vernon during Christmas time. This act is remembered each year by bringing a camel to the property.

Cookies and Cider
Hospitality is extend to each holiday guest as part of the Candlelight Tour. Apple Cider and Moravian Cookies are available to enjoy around the bonfire.

Beautiful Christmas trees are featured in the public buildings  at Mt. Vernon.
They are in contrast to the glorious trees on the property that were planted in the time of George Washington.

Candlelight Tours
At Christmas time you can enjoy a candlelight tour of Mt. Vernon.  Take a step back to days lit by soft light and the magic of bonfires. Both festive and nostalgic, the tour is an experience to savor.

Period Clothing
The clothing worn by the reenactors was quite festive. We meet Martha Washington dressed for a party and finishing laying the table. Her dress and table spoke of formal traditions and celebration.

Music and Dancing
At different points on the tour, live music was sweetly played.  Dance instruction was available in the greenhouse. Martha reminded us, dancing was one of the activities George Washington enjoyed.