No trip to Charlottesville is complete without a tour of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, decorated in period holiday swag like natural greenery, wreaths, and clove-studded fruit wrapped in bows. In December, candlelight tours of the house, including the Dome Room, give visitors an intimate look at how the holidays were celebrated in Jefferson’s time, plus the rare opportunity to experience Monticello after dark.
Also dressed in Yuletide finery at this time of year is Highland, the dwelling of James Monroe, and nearby Montpelier, the residence of James Madison and his wife, Dolley, a renowned hostess. All three presidential museums ring in the festivities in late 18th- and early 19th-century fashion with fresh greenery like mistletoe and holly, as well as adornments true to the period of their respective famous occupants.
Photography by Jim Bathie
Text by Marie Baxley
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