Holidays & History

Nothing warms the heart and soothes the soul like coming home for the holidays — a feeling that’s as true today as it was a hundred years ago. This season, we celebrate a Colonial Christmas in New Bern, look at how soldiers survived the holidays during the Civil War, trace 134 years of Christmas shopping at Belk, marvel over the 1940s-style holiday window displays in Brevard, and much more.


A Colonial Christmas at Tryon Palace

In New Bern, the historical interpreters at the first North Carolina State Capitol invite visitors to immerse themselves in the holidays of the 1700s.

Written by Leah Hughes

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Let There Be Peace

During the Civil War, Christmas became a season of longing for soldiers and their loved ones waiting at home.

Written by Philip Gerard

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Carol of the Belks

Born in Monroe in 1888, a home-grown department store became, for generations of North Carolinians, the gold standard of Christmas shopping.

Written by Susan Stafford Kelly

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A Wartime Feast Aboard the USS North Carolina

During World War II, sailors on the battleship enjoy a welcomed taste of home during the holidays.

Written by Kevin Maurer

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Brevard’s Window Wonderland

Downtown shops twinkle and glow during the holidays with window displays reminiscent of yuletide celebrations of the 1940s and ’50s.

Written by Jen Tota McGivney

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Dickens Village Devotion

In Durham, the careful re-creation of Victorian-era London in miniature takes a Dickens enthusiast back to his childhood in the 1960s, helping him honor Christmas in his heart and keep it all the year.

Written by Daniel Wallace

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A Christmas Comeback

What goes around comes around. A mid-century collectible moves from the attic to the antiques stores.

Written by Nicole Crews

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Fearrington’s Visionaries

Since the 1980s, Fearrington House in Pittsboro has carried on a fine-dining tradition rooted in elegance and shaped by the restaurant’s late founder and its ambitious first chef.

Written by Katie Kane

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