Thursday, December 22, 2011

Venetian Christmas

I love the opulence and sophistication of Venice, Italy. This Christmas I was inspired by the theatrical flourish of the Venetian Renaissance period. Venetian masks are a centuries old tradition in Venice. The masks I chose are called The Columbina which is a half mask and often highly decorated with gold, silver, crystals and feathers. It is held to the face by a baton or tied with ribbon as with most Venetian masks. I purchased these masks at Pier 1 imports but if you prefer authenticity I recommend Venetian Mask Society.

Create a holiday fantasy by decorating a brilliantly  lit, lush green tree with sparkling ornaments. I've been collecting large, painted glass bulbs over the years. Target, Pier1,
Pottery Barn and Costco are my favorite stores to pick up reasonably priced elegant Christmas baubles. I once stood in line at Saks fifth Avenue in Los Angeles the day after Christmas and boy was it worth it! Last but not least for the most dazzling collection of Christmas ornaments you will ever see you must go to Frontgate.
Add a bit of Venetian splendor to your tree with stunning masks and a ruby red beaded garland. Garland can be purchased at either CVS or Target.

Hanging a mask on the inside of your front door in lieu of a wreath will add a touch of romance to your theme. I added gold bells which I purchased from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 at Greccio, Italy, in an attempt to place the emphasis of Christmas upon the worship of Christ rather than upon secular materialism and gift giving. I would be lying to you if I told you I was that good. I think it is so much fun to give and receive gifts at Christmas! I happen to find nativities very beautiful and they remind me of Italy. The nativity shown below is a Kirkland signature from Costco.

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