“Can Christmas Angels Have Brown Skin?”
That was the question 7-year-old Sophia asked her mother Natalie Duvall when they decorated their Christmas tree in 2018.
She looked around at her fair skin-toned fairies, angels, and Santa and realized the answer—yes—wasn’t an obvious answer to her daughter, who couldn’t see herself represented in the faces she had on the tree. and was moving around. her home.
It led Mrs Duvall and Alison Burton to create the UK’s first collection of ethnically diverse Christmas ornaments – angels, choristers and wise men with textured hair and black and brown skin.
Ms Duvall told Sky News: “An angel can have any skin be it brown, pink or red.
“It’s your interpretation of what an angel is.
“And I was very sad that my daughter thought they were only one color.
“They were only white.
“And that’s not the world I want my daughter to grow up in — that there’s only one version or something.”
Not only do the decorations complement the Christmas festivities, they can also spark difficult conversations.
Ms Burton said the decorations could be for everyone, not just those with black and tan skin for whom the image is important.
She added: “I think some people find it daunting to have conversations about race and color.
“But what you introduce into your household, whether it’s the books you read, the movies you watch with your kids, or even having various decorations on your tree, helps to facilitate that conversation about race and to to normalize and normalize in the household.” so they don’t feel like a novelty.”
Decorations featuring people of color exist abroad, but they are a new concept to the British public.
They are designed by the founders, then packaged and shipped from a Kent warehouse.
The company, March Muses, is in its fourth year and its creations are the norm in Duvall and Burton households.
“It was special to see my daughter’s face light up when she saw this angel who looked like her,” Ms Duvall said.
“She was like ‘Oh, it’s brown. It looks like me’.
“It’s a small way to show her that she is represented in this world and that she belongs in this world.
“When we show her new designs of our angels she says, ‘I’ve seen them 100 times mom, what’s new?’
“That’s the response we want. We want it to be normal and not a novelty.”