Local Designer’s Giant Nutcracker Adorns the White House

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12-Foot-Tall Nutcracker Ornament Designed by Area Business Owner Claire Henderson Stands Tall in the State Dining Room

It’s a nice acknowledgement of our Christmas decor and a true honor that the White House would select one of my pieces to sit alongside so many other beautiful holiday ornaments as they continue the annual tradition of transforming the White House.

Business owner and Christmas décor designer, Claire Henderson learned last week that her giant 12-foot-tall Nutcracker decoration is now standing tall in the White House State Dining Room as part of the annual holiday decorations that deck the White House halls.

Claire and her husband Don are the owners of Amsterdam, NY-based, Christmas Night Inc., a designer and seller of nativity scenes and all-weather Christmas decorations. The couple was surprised and honored to learn of their tall friend’s fate when they were contacted by their manufacturing partner who told them that photos and video of the Nutcracker, an exclusive design by Christmas Night Inc., had been publicized across a number of national media outlets as part of a series of photos and video footage released by the White House to reveal this year’s holiday decor.

The over-sized decoration, shown prominently perched in the corner of the dining room, can also be seen in photos and video hosted on the whitehouse.gov website produced as part of First Lady, Michelle Obama’s December 2nd preview of the 2015 White House holiday decor. During which, she — and dog Bo — hosted a number of children for holiday crafts and treats in the State Dining Room.

Video footage of Michelle Obama hosting children in the State Dining Room, as released by the White House, can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house/holidays-2015

“I was so very pleased to learn that my work was selected,” said Claire Henderson. “It’s certainly a nice acknowledgement of our Christmas decor and a true honor that the White House would select one of my pieces to sit alongside so many other beautiful holiday ornaments as they continue the annual tradition of transforming the White House for the holidays.”

The inclusion of Nutcrackers in the White House as part of the holiday decor is a long-held tradition. According to the “White House Holiday Tour Book,” First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy announced that her first theme for the holidays as official hostess of the White House would be “The Nutcracker” back in 1961.

Although Christmas Night Inc. offers a large selection of decorations and nativity sets, Henderson says that this ornament, designed about four or five years ago, is the only Nutcracker that she’s designed — although it is available in a number of different styles, colors, and sizes.

Claire Henderson is originally from Ireland and went to art school in Canada. Claire and her husband Don bought a company in the U.S. in 1997 and immigrated to the U.S., eventually becoming citizens. They founded their present company, Christmas Night Inc., in 1999.

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Claire Henderson
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