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October 9, 2012

Discover Holiday Decorating and Entertaining Ideas from Colonial Williamsburg’s 2012 Holiday Symposium

“The Twelve Days of Christmas,” Colonial Williamsburg’s 2012 Holiday Symposium, explores traditional and new ways to decorate for the holidays with a special focus on the Twelve Days of Christmas and the celebration of Twelfth Night. Demonstrations and illustrated lectures by Foundation professionals and guest speakers will be featured Nov. 11-12.

Guests enjoy how-to demonstrations of holiday decorating and entertaining ideas by Colonial Williamsburg’s visual merchandising team. Colonial Williamsburg curators Jan Gilliam and Amanda C. Keller and museum educator Christina Westenberger are featured speakers. Guest speaker and historian Mary Miley Theobald discusses the history of the Twelve Days of Christmas and Twelfth Night.

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

Nov. 11

  • The Myths of Christmas. Mary Miley Theobald, writer and historian, Richmond, Va.
  • An Art-Full Twelve Days of Christmas, Jan Gilliam, manager of exhibition planning and curator of toys, and Christina Westenberger, associate manager of museum education.
  • The Twelve Wreaths of Christmas. Jan Gilliam and Christina Westenberger.
  • People from the Past Bring the Twelve Days of Christmas to Life. An audience participatory experience! Colonial Williamsburg’s Willie Balderson, manager of public history development, and Todd D. Norris, manager, evening programs and performing arts.

    Nov. 12

  • The Joys of Making a Twelfth Night Cake. Barbara Scherer, Colonial Williamsburg journeyman of Historic Foodways.
  • Setting the 18th-century Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Table. Amanda C. Keller, Colonial Williamsburg assistant curator, historic interiors and household accessories.
  • Twelve Guests for Twelfth Night? Not a Problem! Colonial Williamsburg visual merchandisers Owen Sharman and Carol Gibbs walk guests through a myriad of holiday table top and decorating ideas that are easy to accomplish and sure to inspire personal style and creativity.

    Optional afternoon workshops at the Williamsburg Woodlands Conference Center include:

    Nov. 11-12

  • Art in Metal: An Ornament Workshop. Instructor: Jan Gilliam. Class fee: $30 per person.
  • A Partridge in a Pear Tree. Instructor: Don Haynie, Williamsburg, Va., with assistance from Susan Dippre, landscape supervisor and floral services manager. Class fee: $25 per person.
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming. Instructor: Carol Harrison, textile artist, Williamsburg, Va. Class fee: $25 per person.
  • Scherenschnitte: The German Art of Scissor Cutting. Instructor: Christina Westenberger. Class fee: $30 per person.
  • Cross-Stitch for the Twelve Days of Christmas. Instructor: Ann Merkley, Colonial Williamsburg museum monitor and cross-stitch designer. Class fee: $30 per person.
  • Pieced 18th-century Pinball Ornament. Instructor: Melissa Mead, Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center accessories craftsperson, and Joyce Hutton, Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center tailor. Class fee: $30 per person.

    On Nov. 11, guests have the opportunity to attend an optional music program, “Drop Down, Ye Heavens! A Family Christmas Celebration in Song.” A separate $5 ticket is required. Space is limited. Reservation is required.

    Registration for Sunday or Monday mornings is $65 each. Registration for both days is $100. For more information, contact Deborah Chapman at 1 - (800) 603-0948.

    Program registration is held at 8 a.m. on Nov. 11-12 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 W. Francis St., Williamsburg.

    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 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.

    Revolutionary City is a registered trademark 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:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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