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Holidays at the Mansion

A Commonwealth Christmas

This year’s theme, A Commonwealth Christmas, pays homage to centuries old Virginia Christmas traditions with a contemporary twist, utilizing natural design elements that have remained seasonal staples from the Commonwealth’s earliest documented celebrations to today.

The halls are decked with evergreen boughs seen by early settlers as good luck tokens for the coming year. Fresh flora, feathers and fruits such as apples, lemons, limes, oranges, pears and pomegranates ordain the mantles in reference to Della Robia style wreaths of Colonial Williamsburg.

Nature’s beauty has made its way through the front doors, reminiscent of days past where decorations were not intended to last from year to year but enjoyed in the present moment. A Commonwealth Christmas represents the richness of Virginia history and tradition and its relevancy to the present.

Greenery with chandelier in background
Fruit basket greenery
gingerbread governor's palace LOVE sculpture
holiday flower on mantel
top of Christmas tree
greenery on mantel with chandelier
Legos governor's palace
Pine cone bouquet on mantel
close up of tree ornaments
greenery on mantel

Holiday Events and Tours

Plan your visit to the Executive Mansion this holiday season to take in "A Commonwealth Christmas." Tours featuring live music will be offered on the following days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday, December 1st | Tuesday, December 5th | Friday, December 8th | Tuesday, December 12th | Friday, December 15th 

Please note: the Executive Mansion will be closed for tours from Tuesday, December 19th to Friday, January 5th.


The Christmas Tree

This holiday season, Governor Youngkin and the First Lady have chosen to honor several important organizations through a decorated Christmas tree in the Dining Room. Read below to learn more about these impactful groups.

holiday bear on mansion tree

Fear 2 Freedom

Fear 2 Freedom restores hope and dignity to survivors of sexual assault while empowering students and communities to combat sexual violence in its many forms, empowering over 29,500 students at 44 colleges in 11 states to Be the Change on their campuses. On this tree are Freedom Bears, a trademarked therapy tool, designed with a hole where its heart is. This pocket allows survivors to store their pain and fears in Freedom Bear's heart until they are ready to release them on their healing journey.

Mansion tree lights and ornaments

James House

James House is the only accredited nonprofit organization helping people affected by sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking in the Greater Tri-Cities Region. Their mission is to provide support, advocacy, and education for people affected by sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking and to empower them to become healthy, safe, and self-sufficient.

TAPS ornaments on mansion tree


TAPS, standing for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, is a national nonprofit organization providing support for all those grieving the death of a military veteran loved one. TAPS offers around the clock comfort and hope through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources at zero cost to surviving families and loved ones. Their ornaments honor Virginian service members who have died in the line of duty.

The Twelfth Annual Virginia Capitol Ornament

12 annual ornament featuring General Assembly BuildingThis year’s Virginia State Capitol Ornament appropriately features the newly opened, General Assembly Building (GAB) – a reminder of the current era of public architecture in Richmond. The new GAB is Virginia’s first, purpose-built building for state legislature and is finally complete after 5 years of construction. Deck your tree with this limited-edition ornament. Thank you, Charlie Seilheimer and the team at Virginia Capitol Foundation for your work on this beautiful project!

Gingerbread Governor’s Palace

Created by Executive Mansion Pastry Chef, Scott Henderlite, this year’s house is a model of the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg. The Governor’s Palace was the official residence of the royal governors of the Colony of Virginia and was also home for two of Virginia’s post-colonial governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. Funded by the House of Burgesses in 1706, the Palace was built from 1706 onward. In 1780 when the capitol moved to Richmond, the Governor’s residence moved with it, now nestled in Capitol Square housing Virginia’s governors and families since 1813.

Full view of gingerbread governor's palace Close up of gingerbread governor's palace Close up of deer grazing gingerbread governor's palace


Then & Now

It’s the most wonderful time of year at the Executive Mansion, and it has been for over two centuries! In 1849, Virginia became the fifth state to recognize Christmas as a legal holiday, beginning the tradition of decking the interior halls and exterior walls of Virginia’s home. Click through the galleries below to see how the Mansion’s holiday scene has changed over the years.

Holidays Then
Holidays Now