Create a Scene

Remember the once loved dolls’ house/train set that was consigned to an attic along with your school reports and the cute shoes you wore when you were one? Well, miniatures haven’t stopped being charming and this season, though it pains me to say it, there’s a trend for not putting a candle into a lantern and instead creating a little seasonal tableau within its glass walls.

This is not as easy as it looks. There’s a real danger of stepping over the line into twee, naff or decidedly eccentric.  The key to making it work is to keep it simple. You’ll need a large modern lantern with clean lines and clear glass walls; the storm lantern below is ideal. Outdoor scenes work best. Use a lot of faux snow and greenery then add a stag deer, a lamp post or a timeless form of transport. Just don’t over do it, aim for Nordic simplicity rather than Victorian kitsch.

Storm lantern with snow and fir trees

Snowy pines inside a storm lantern

Alternatively, go traditional; swop the snow for sand and hay and add a few farm animals and a manger. Shepherds, camels, kings, an angel and a star in the East?  Bit more tricky.

Finally, smuggle some light into there if you can; tiny LEDs with a buried battery case work well and miniature lamp posts with real working lights are magical. Please note, though, that no LED is a magical as a candle and these lanterns do look their level best when there are lit candles nearby adding movement and warm reflected light.

If twee, naff or decidedly eccentric hold no fears for you then by all means follow your heart. You could add a flying snowman, a lion, witch and wardrobe or two singing Disney princesses. Or use what’s to hand. An angel, a dinosaur, a tardis… If it’s the only scene that’s created this Christmas you’ll be doing really well.