Our Russian Christmas Fantasy
Once again, the end of November found the team at Dujardin Design Associates in full decorating mode at the Nantucket Whaling Museum. This year, we created a Russian Christmas Fantasy display for the Nantucket Historical Association’s 17th Annual Festival of Trees.
Inspired by my Russian heritage, the tree is a splendor in red and gold, with red glass balls, golden ribbons and over 50 handmade Russian ornaments. There are Russian Cossacks, snowflakes, Faberge eggs and matryoshka dolls (the traditional nesting dolls), all delicately hand painted in festive fashion.
We created the illusion of snow covered branches by wrapping the tree in hundreds of little white lights, and tucking fresh baby’s breath into the boughs. A silk tree skirt embroidered in red glass beads in a snowflake design is a work of art in itself, crafted for us by the same people who did the Christmas tree skirts for the White House.
A Nod to Antiquity Required Special Handling:
The museum is home to rare artifacts and aged documents such as original ships’ whaling logs, so the ornaments, although they appear to be cookies, are not made with any edible products. Likewise, the fabulous faux “gingerbread” cathedral, depicting St. Basil’s in Moscow, is a meticulously molded and painted replica.
St. Basil’s Gingerbread Cathedral
Accompanies the Tree:
Standing next to the tree on a red plaid skirted table is a replica of the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Approximately two feet wide and three feet high, its creation required over 200 man hours by the skilled craftspeople at Colette’s Cakes of New York.
St. Basil’s was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1555. The building’s shape was designed to mimic the flame of a bonfire rising into the sky. Its full name is the Cathedral of Intercession of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, Temple of Basil the Blessed, but it has been referred to as St. Basil’s for centuries. It comprises nine individual chapels, each topped with a unique onion dome.
The Story of BabushkaIf you would like a copy of this delightful Russian Christmas Legend please send us your contact information.Seven Simple Steps for a Sustainable Holiday Season
- A gift is a thoughtful gesture and the same sentiment can be shown in sustainable ways. Consider exchanging time instead of gifts with the elderly or lonely during the holiday season, or making a sustainable donation to a local charity with the money you save. Put your money to work helping others and the planet with a “life-changing gift”, such as Heifer International, www.heifer.org or ChildFund International, www.childfund.org.
- Be socially conscious with gifts that promote fair trade.
- Use energy efficient LED holiday lights to add sparkle. (Install a timer!)
- Give locally made products, help reduce the impact of transportation.
- Purchase greeting cards printed on recycled materials with vegetable based non-toxic inks, or send email greetings.
- Give gifts such as gift certificates or theater tickets – they don’t require a lot of gift wrapping. Avoid wrapping with glossy or metallic paper. Colorful fabric or reusable gift bags are an environmentally friendly alternative.
- Choose toys that do not require batteries. Instead choose gifts that stimulate a child’s imagination without impacting the environment.
For more on sustainable ideas for your home, visit our website at www.dujardindesign.com.