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October 11, 2011

2011 Holiday Symposium Focuses on New Ways to Decorate for the Holidays

“‘Tis the Season: The Art-full Tree,” Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Symposium, explores traditional and new ways to decorate for the holidays with a special focus on the Christmas tree. Demonstrations and illustrated lectures by Foundation professionals and guest speakers take place on Nov. 9-10.

Morning program sessions at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum include:

  • O Christmas Tree! 9:30 a.m., Nov. 9. Mary Miley Theobald, historian and writer, Richmond, Va.
  • Gingerbread Houses and Tree Decorations, a demonstration by Colonial Williamsburg pastry chefs, 10:45 a.m., Nov. 9. Participants learn the fascinating history of gingerbread as Chefs Rodney Diehl and Michelle Brown artfully construct and decorate a gingerbread house and gingerbread soldier tree ornament. Recipes will be shared.
  • Picking Your Best Christmas Tree, 9:30 a.m., Nov. 10. Which Christmas tree variety is best for your home? Whether you choose a cut real tree or a living tree in burlap, Colonial Williamsburg landscape supervisor Rollin Woolley discusses the pros and cons of some of the most popular varieties.
  • Homemade Garlands, 9:30 a.m., Nov. 10. Fresh garlands provide a touch of cheer and subtle fragrance throughout your home during the holiday season. Colonial Williamsburg senior gardener Dianne Duncan demonstrates how you can combine a variety of holiday greenery to make spectacular garlands to adorn your home.
  • The Wildlife Tree, 10:45 a.m., Nov. 10. Pandora Young, senior gardener, Longwood Gardens Inc., Kennett Square, Pa. Why not spread some holiday cheer outdoors this year by creating a wildlife tree? Adorned with natural materials, wildlife trees decorate our gardens and provide food for our feathered friends. In this illustrated lecture, Young shares her tips for creating many of the natural ornaments she has made for the wildlife trees at Longwood Gardens.
  • Decorating with Christmas Tree Greens, 11:30 a.m., Nov. 10. Cutting the lower branches off your Christmas tree helps the tree fit better into the stand and provides you with fragrant fresh greens to use when decorating your home for the holidays. Susan Dippre, Colonial Williamsburg landscape supervisor, shows you how Christmas tree cuttings can be put to good use by creating decorations in the Colonial Williamsburg style.

    Optional afternoon workshops include:

  • Fashionable Festive Fascinators, Nov. 9. Cost is $20.
  • Gingerbread House and Ornament, Nov. 9-10. The $50 fee includes a complete gingerbread house kit.
  • Ornaments for Wildlife, Nov. 9-10. Pandora Young, senior gardener, Longwood Gardens Inc., Kennett Square, Pa. During this 60-75-minute class workshop, guests make a millet wreath and suet bell. Cost is $35.
  • Paper Cutting, Nov. 9-10. Participants go home with their completed projects as well as the special scissors used in the class. No previous experience is needed. This 90-minute class is $30.
  • Metal Foil Ornaments, Nov. 9-10. Participants go home with completed projects as well as the special scissors and stylus used in the creation of these ornaments. This 90-minute class is $30.
  • Cross Stitch Ornaments, Nov. 10. Participants go home with all supplies to finish off their ornaments including the sewing scissors along with creative ideas for alternate uses of this project. This 90-minute class is $30.

    Registration for the morning sessions is $100. The afternoon workshops are individually priced. Afternoon optional workshops will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis to conference registrants first. Any unsold optional workshop space will be available for sale to the general public on Oct. 31.

    Preregistration and payment in full are required. Payment can be made in the form of check, or charged to American Express, Discover, Visa or MasterCard. There are four easy ways to register for the Holiday Symposium:

  • 1. Online:
  • 2. Phone: 1-800-603-0948, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. (EST)
  • 3. Fax: (757) 565-8921
  • 4. Mail: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Conferences, Forums and Workshops, P.O. Box 1776, Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776.

    Special hotel rates are available for Holiday Symposium registrants. For room reservations, call 1-800-261-9530, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    (757) 220-7121

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