Most of us have seen the annual Christmas displays at the River Road plantation homes. They're glamorous and worth the trip, but there's a part of the story they don't tell. A Pre-Civil War Christmas in plantation country would be a pretty simple celebration.
The Aillets were typical planters of that era, not the rich folks from Oak Alley or Nottoway. Their home was decorated with simple nuts, fruits and berries. Tour guide Linda Collins explains as she takes visitors through. "Various fruits have different religious significance. Plus, fruits were very rare in our area. They had to be imported, so it was a special occasion when you put out fresh fruit and nuts and things."