More than 100 Christmas trees -- some ornamental, others carrying out an ethnic heritage or displaying a theme and embellished with things like ornaments , lights, beads, straw figures, and musical instruments -- will fill the ground floor of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., Dec. 5-14 for the Seventh Annual Festival of Trees. All the trees are for sale, and have been decorated and donated by area garden clubs, businesses, artists, individuals, and corporations. Wreaths and other holiday greens provided by the Garden Clubs of Connecticut will also be available for purchase. All proceeds from the sale benefit the museum. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Hartford museum is at 600 Main Street.
Williamsburg is a special place to visit at Christmastime. Virginia's 18 th-century Colonial capital is a superb display of early American history, for the town's residents live in the original and reconstructed houses, and tend shops where a variety of crafts are actively practiced. Tours of the private homes decorated for Christmas will be given Dec. 6 and 7. Williamsburg's Christmas celebration begins officially Dec. 14 with the Grand Illumination of the city. At sunset, costumed guards will fire muskets to signal the lighting of candles in the windows of the historic area buildings, and entertainment is followed by fireworks. Until Jan. 1, there are two weeks of candlelight concerts, special tours, parades, theater, strolling Christmas singers, and lavish holiday meals served in historic inns and taverns.
An addition to the Colonial homes available for overnight lodging in Williamsburg is the Nicholas-Tyler Office and Laundry. For many years, the office housed the Williamsburg Public Library, and the laundry once served as a kitchen for the Nicholas-Tyler house. Now each has two one-bedroom suites, furnished with antiques and handmade reproductions, antique Oriental rugs, and authentic Williamsburg reproductions of fabrics used for curtains and upholstered furniture.