From the City of Lynchburg: On Sunday, December 6 from 12 noon until 4:00 p.m., Point of Honor, located at 112 Cabell Street, will host its 33nd Annual Christmas Open House, presenting one of Lynchburg’s architectural jewels decorated for the holiday season. The home was built in 1815 by the Dr. George Cabell family and is an elegant example of Federal architecture. Admission is free. Point of Honor will be decorated with native greens and authentic holiday table settings based on Federal-era traditions. Christmas in 1815 was quite different from today. Homes were decorated with greenery but usually in a simple, natural fashion. Families visited with one another and greeted Christmas morning with toasts, the firing of guns into the air, and served the best food and drink available.
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Many families celebrated a high-spirited holiday known as Twelfth Night. The holiday festivities would commence on Christmas Eve with the burning of a ceremonial Yule Log and would continue for 12 days. On the Twelfth Night, a grand celebration would take place with families gathering for singing, dancing, and feasting. At the end of the evening, the Yule Log was extinguished, and pieces of its wood were saved to be used as kindling for next year’s event. The Christmas we know today came to America when German immigrants arrived in large numbers in the 1840s, bringing Santa Claus, the hanging of stockings, and the Christmas tree. The use of Christmas trees in the home is an outgrowth of these German traditions.
During the Open House, Riddle on the Harp will perform period carols with a sing-along in the parlor which has become a Lynchburg tradition in its own right. The T.C. Miller Singing Eagles will be caroling on the grounds. The dining room and other areas in the house will exhibit food and table settings from a typical holiday bill of fare from 1815. Refreshments will be served in the Carriage House and harpist Whitley Smalt will perform from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. The Gift Shop will offer 10% off during the event on unique gifts such as books, prints, Lynchburg Christmas cards, ceramics, and other special gift items, all with a Lynchburg connection.