Christmas at the Governor’s Mansion

On Monday, the holiday spirit moved us. Well, to be fair, the promise of getting a look inside the Governor’s Mansion moved us. But we also can’t say no to a festive display this time of year. Even after living in Montgomery for years and driving by the mansion on Perry just about every single day, we’d never been inside the “people’s house.” Then one day the radio informed us that for a month of Mondays, the Governor’s house (and the Hill House next door to the north) is open in the evenings for the Candlelight tour. We figured, what better way to get in the Christmas mood while inspecting the place that our tax dollars pay for?

Step one was to get tickets. The Troy NPR station instructed us to go the Governor’s Mansion gift shop. The tour itself was self-guided, with the gates open from 5-7. The gift shop ladies told us 6 was the plum time to go, because folks were pretty lined up around 5. So we came by at 6, parked on Perry and got tickets from the gift shop. Being inside the mansion and the Hill House was pretty lovely. It’s not just that they was full of the Christmas spirit, which they were – with dozens of Christmas trees throughout, and a choir singing on big indoor staircase at the mansion. It was also just great to be inside and see these absolutely beautiful homes. They have been lovingly restored and maintained, with enough architectural details to satisfy even the most jaded HGTV viewer.

Also, the gift shop is really nice. We often do Christmas shopping at Goat Hill (the gift shop in the other branch of government, the Legislature), but will certainly add the executive branch’s gift shop to our list. They carry all kinds of Alabama-themed gifts and a lot of other bits and pieces. Among the treasures, we were happy to find, were gingerbread candles designed by the Governor’s own chef, Jim Smith.

We wish we could recommend that you go, but alas, we caught the last tour of the year. Next year, be sure to put it on your calendars. And if we find out that the judicial branch offers anything in the way of Christmas shopping, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with a cat, a dog, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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  1. Carole king says:

    The Governor’s Mansion was indeed extra lovely this year! Fiber artists from all over the state were invited by Mrs. Bentley to contribute decorations to the First Lady’s Parlor. The Mansion is definitely a MUST for your Midtown holiday touring list next year.

  2. Jay Croft says:

    The Christmas season begins tonight at sundown and continues through sundown January 5th. I deplore the thinking that Christmas begins at Thanksgiving Day–if not before–and ends on Christmas Day. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is an actual season, ending at sundown January 5th.

    Seems that the tours were scheduled for the Advent season, not Christmas.

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