In German, there’s a Christmas saying that goes, “Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude.” This phrase means Anticipation is the greatest joy in English. It’s no secret that this phrase summarizes how we feel about the holidays. Once December hits, there are so many wonderful things to look forward to: putting up the Christmas tree, watching holiday movies, giving gifts to your loved ones, and eating an amazing holiday dinner.
Simply knowing there’s a special event or trip in your future brightens your mood. A 2006 American Physiological Society study discovered that if one thinks about watching their favorite movie, the endorphin amounts climb by over 27 percent. Just the thought of doing something positive is exciting.
I anticipated going to see Yuletide at Winterthur this holiday season, and the stunning holiday display is just as festive as expected. The former estate of Francis du Pont, Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library transforms into a merry space and has holiday décor. It’s named after the Swiss city Winterthur, and the official language of this city is Swiss Standard German. Winterthur continues to have their annual Yuletide event, starting on November 21 this year and concluding on January 3. H.F. du Pont welcomed his family at Winterthur each Christmas, and now you’re invited to spend a day here.
This year, Yuletide looked a little different. To begin, the detailed decorations and Christmas trees are on the first floor and the other floors are closed to visitors. Instead of entering through the main entrance, visitors go through the greenhouse. Nonetheless, the intricate décor leaves a strong impression and I’m thankful for the staff who worked hard to organize such an event, despite everything that’s going on. Winterthur is additionally memorable because of its extensive outdoor space: There’s even an Enchanted Garden, so you can enjoy the surrounding parts of the estate once you’re finished with your tour inside. You can solely come to Winterthur just to walk through the gardens, as one family did during our visit.
In today’s post, I’m showing photos of this remarkable event!
IN THIS POST-
- YULETIDE INSIDE THE HOME
- EXPLORING THE GARDENS
- KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
- FINAL IMPRESSIONS
YULETIDE INSIDE THE HOME
Here are some of the very first rooms you’ll be able to see. Every decoration is distinct, and no Christmas tree is the same. There’s an employee in each room that explains the holiday traditions of the du Pont family and the significance of each room.
The first photo above shows the food the du Ponts would have given you if you were a holiday guest (Yes, that’s caviar!). I thought the tree in the second photo above was cute. The third photo above shows what a holiday meal for the children would have looked like!
The photos above show the last room. This particular room left me especially stunned because of its sheer size. There was also a woman playing Christmas songs on the piano for visitors.
Before you exit for good, you’ll see this tree!
EXPLORING THE GARDENS
The dimensions of this outdoor space are insane. Here are some photos that illustrate how extensive the territory is. It’s sprawling.
There’s a specific place called the Enchanted Garden. While these adorable homes are designed with children in mind, I’m sure visitors of all ages will love this place.
The shop has amazing Christmas gifts, garden supplies, and clothing. I liked the books about British gardens and how to properly drink tea like a true Brit. Speaking of Britain, the above photos of Queen Elizabeth II are from the shop. Winterthur had a 2019 exhibition where all the costumes from The Crown, the Netflix historical drama about the royal family, were on display. All of the dresses were stunning! The exhibition even had the outfit that the actor who played Winston Churchill wore. Maybe in a couple of years, there could be an exhibition showcasing the wedding gown that actress Emma Corrin wore in Season 4 when playing Princess Diana?
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Visitors must purchase advanced tickets on the Winterthur website. The breakdown is as follows:
- Adult: $25.00
- Child: $6.00
- Infants: Free admission
- Senior: $23.00
- Student: $23.00
Masks are required, and every employee is wearing one. When we visited (November 28), Delaware had no quarantine rule for out-of-state visitors.
Winterthur’s beauty is timeless. This holiday-themed trip wasn’t my first visit to Winterthur, but the estate continues to leave me mesmerized. I highly recommend seeing the Yuletide event! The holiday spirit here is magical.
Note: Winterthur is located in the Brandywine Valley, a charming and historic region that encompasses parts of Pennsylvania and Delaware. You can view my blog post about the Brandywine Valley here.
For a sample weekend itinerary that outlines major attractions and can give you inspiration for your own trip, click here.
If you want to learn about how Longwood Gardens, another Brandywine Valley staple, gets prepared for the holiday season, click here for my blog post. To read more about the Orchid Extravaganza event that happens every spring, click here. My blog post about a summer day at Longwood Gardens can be found here. For photos and information about the Chrysanthemum Festival, an autumn tradition at Longwood Gardens, click here.
That’s all I have to say about this special place! I had an eventful day here as the year draws to a close, and it’s evident that all of my anticipation about Yuletide was valid. The German saying was correct!
As we get closer to 2021, I want to wish everyone a happy new year. May 2021 bring you good health, happiness, and success. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog-I’m nothing without readers! More blog content will be coming your way in 2021.
All my love,
P.S.- There’s a traditional German bread called stollen that’s eaten during the Christmas season. There are fruits and nuts inside. Here’s the recipe from the Food Network website (I got to hear Courtney White, Food Network President, speak over Zoom at the Center for Communication’s virtual Women + Media Career Summit earlier this month!): Stollen Recipe | Food Network