GREENFIELD – Business owner and Christmas décor designer Claire Henderson learned last week that she and her company, Christmas Night, Inc., had received a special honor. Her giant 12-foot-tall Nutcracker King decoration, which Claire designed, 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 Donald are owners of Christmas Night, Inc., a designer and seller of nativity scenes and all-weather Christmas decorations (www.ChristmasNightInc.com). They reside in Greenfield, and ship their decorations worldwide from a facility in Amsterdam, NY. They have had many large clients and celebrities that have purchased their decorations since incorporating the business in 1999. But nothing like this.
“I was extremely pleased to learn that my work was selected,” Claire Henderson said. “It is a great acknowledgement of our Christmas décor and a true honor that the White House would select one of my pieces to sit alongside so many other beautiful holiday ornaments.” They learned that one of the designers that represented the White House had bought the Nutcracker King, which Claire originally designed five years ago, when one of their manufacturing partners had seen photos and video of this year’s holiday decorations.
The Henderson’s Nutcracker King joins a long tradition of decorating the White House for the holidays, dating back to 1800, during the administration of John Adams. More recently, in 1961 First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy made “The Nutcracker” her first theme for the White House’s holiday décor.
An estimated 68,000 visitors will view the Henderson’s Nutcracker King at the White House this holiday season. The King looms large (12 feet tall, weighing 284 pounds) over the State Dining Room. Video of the holiday décor can be viewed at www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house/holidays-2015.
While their business is all about the holidays, it is anything but seasonal. Claire noted that they start bringing in products in the spring, and most designers and churches start planning their holiday décor in the summer. One of their most popular items through the years has been “Santa’s Sleigh and Reindeer,” which is big enough for the jolly one, along with two children and plenty of gifts. Claire is already at work on a new design for next year – a 10-foot toy soldier.
The Hendersons have been married for 24 years, and have resided in Saratoga County since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada in 1997. Claire is a native of Ireland, and you can sense that she was warmed and gratified by becoming a big part of one of the most American of traditions.
“It’s an honor. Not just the honor to have a product in the White House - it’s an honor to start a company in the U.S., and to be a U.S. Citizen,” she said.
For more information, visit www.ChristmasNightInc.com