Places to Go - Wassail at Claude Moore Colonial Farm (McLean, VA)


The tradition of wassailing goes back to ancient times, in which farmers gathered to encourage fruit trees to produce in the following year. In order to wassail, one must serenade, toast, and beat the trees in order to scare off evil spirits. As T happens to be a MAGNIFICENT tree beater (he truly is an "old soul") our whole family couldn't wait to attend Claude Moore Colonial Farm's annual wassail celebration. We've frequently visited the farm for their tri-annual market fair celebrations (click here for my review), but this was our first time wassailing our way through 1771. Though the wassail festivities were much smaller in scope than those of the market fairs, we had a really nice time singing, storytelling, drinking hot cider, eating cookies, and playing hoop & stick (some games never get old). Unfortunately, the orchard trees are still too young to beat (sadness!), so they let us beat the fencing instead (which really isn't the same, fence beating being so beneath the scope of T's abilities).

Honestly it felt wonderful to celebrate the season OUTSIDE, cold air and all. Plus, right now a Christmas without plastic of any kind seems sort of amazing. Can you imagine? No big presents, just drinks with neighbors and family accompanied by running through the fields all afternoon? What a beautiful concept.


Sometimes the "storyteller" picks your daughter up and pretends she's a donkey. Part of you feels insulted that your daughter has been called a donkey, then you realize that she's having the time of her life and you get over yourself.


The kids' cousin now has his own ipad touch and he takes pictures of EVERYTHING. i (of course) find this adorable. especially when he asks the other kids to pose. he probably took better pictures then me. though of course he didn't have the difficult task of informing a toddler that tree beating was off for the year. He also didn't have the difficult task of keeping the toddler out of the bonfire.

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