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Montpelier Decorates for Christmas in Style of Madison's Time - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Montpelier Decorates for Christmas in Style of Madison's Time

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Montpelier Montpelier

Friday marked the beginning of the holiday celebration at Montpelier, James Madison's home. Crews spent the day decorating but it looks a little different from how you might expect.

Montpelier guides say decorations were much more sparse in the early 1800s. Decorations we are used to seeing were developed later from traditions brought over by European immigrants.

The Christmas tree itself was originally a German concept so you won't find one of those in the mansion.

Sterling Howell, interpretive team coordinator, said, "During Madison’s day, Christmas would be very much about religious observance. Even the gatherings, the feasting, would have been, are traditions that have evolved over time rather than have being something that was a given to them."

Montpelier guides say the few decorations they do have are still probably more than what would have been seen in Madison’s day.

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