One of my favorite Christmas memories of years past is the Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg (click the link for pictures and music). When we lived in Virginia, Lourene and I always tried to make the short trip to Williamsburg on the first Sunday night of December (click the link for an interactive map).
What a great time to walk around the streets of the old colonial village!
The fireworks were always stunning. The cider was always hot and spicy. The door and building decorations were always beautiful. But there are two things more than anything else that really make the memories special.
One, being with friends. The weather was almost always cold, sometimes bitterly cold. Huddling up with friends as we walked around was always fun. I remember sharing this experience with long-time friends Joe and Nancy as well as with our friend Vladimir who was visiting from Ukraine. Great memories!
Two, being with strangers. There is something special about standing in the bitter cold on the streets of a village the represents the early days of our nation with thousands of complete strangers. Especially when you are standing by a fire in front of the colonial capital building with those strangers and you are singing Christmas hymns that both remember and honor Jesus.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Colonial Willamsburg, do it! And if you can be there on the first Sunday night of December, by all means go and soak it all in!
These memories were stirred up by a recent article on CNN.