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This video shows Elaine Maisel’s process for creating twelve ornaments to accompany the 2016 National Christmas Tree in Washington D.C.

Her ornaments will be on display in President’s Park, south of the White House in Washington, D.C. as part of the 94th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting display. Elaine has designed ornaments that showcase beloved birds native to Mississippi. Each ornament contains a wing feather from a Mississippi Eastern Wild Turkey on which Elaine has painted one of twelve different birds that frequent her neighborhood, right next to the Natchez Trace Parkway. Wild turkeys, mockingbirds, blue jays, cardinals, crows, and woodpeckers hang out year-round, while bluebirds, robins, cedar waxwings, goldfinches and red winged blackbirds visit only at certain times of year when migrating. The name of each bird is inscribed on the back of its ornament. The quill of each feather is hand-stitched on backing board. The hand crafted ornaments will adorn one of 56 trees representing each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia from December 1, 2016 through January 1, 2017 as part of the America Celebrates display.

Elaine was chosen by the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) to represent Mississippi for this year’s display. She is listed on the MAC Artist Roster and is a member of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi. Learn more about Elaine’s feather painting at

Presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the National Christmas Tree Lighting is one of America’s oldest holiday traditions. The first National Christmas Tree lighting took place 94 years ago on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse. Since 1923, each succeeding president has carried on the tradition.

For more event information and updates, please visit and follow the National Christmas Tree on Twitter at @TheNationalTree. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2016. Through a partnership with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, the Hallmark Channel will exclusively broadcast the National Christmas Tree Lighting on December 5.

Music in this video:
“Happy This Christmas”
by Tommy McClymont and the Panacea Jamband:
Tommy McClymont, vocals, ukulele, handclaps
Don Jacobs, vocals, bells, handclaps
Raphael Zweifel, cello
Elaine Maisel, bassoon
Ty Maisel, violin
@TommyMcClymontMusic on Facebook.
Music available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes
©2015 Tommy McClymont [email protected]

Photography, video and editing:
All photography, videography and editing was done by Elaine Maisel with the exception of the opening and closing photos of Elaine, which were taken by Katherine Fahling for the Mississippi Arts Commission, and the photos of both of Elaine’s hands while sewing and lettering, which were taken by her husband, Ty Maisel. Elaine Maisel and the Mississippi Arts Commission retain all rights to their creative work. ©2016

National Park Service:

National Park Foundation:

Mississippi Arts Commission:

More about Elaine’s work:

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