February 8 marks the birthday of one of history’s most inspiring authors, Jules Verne. The visionary thought well ahead of his time, writing about submarines and expeditions to the moon long before they were invented. To this day, many experts consider him to be the Father of Science Fiction.

Jules Verne’s work never ceases to stimulate the imagination, which is why in celebration of his birthday, we’re presenting decorating ideas based on two of his most popular works:

 

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

This beloved classic tells the tale of Professor Pierre Annorax, a marine biologist, and his adventures aboard the mysterious Captain Nemo’s underwater vessel, the Nautilus. Submerging into the deepest areas of the open seas, Annorax, Nemo and the rest of the crew encounter fantastical creatures and discover awe-inspiring ruins – including the city of Atlantis itself!

Capture the deep-sea atmosphere by using deep blue as your main color. Our In the Navy Blue Christmas Tree makes for a perfect backdrop, but you can also use a traditional tree for this theme. Clear or yellow lights on the tree help simulate the small glowing wildlife that’s learned to adapt to the ocean’s abyss. Trim your tree with underwater-themed ornaments like coral and fish. You can also “rebuild” Atlantis and other sunken ruins by hanging lightweight aquarium ornaments like castles and shipwrecks onto your tree.

There are two key pieces to this theme: the Nautilus and the giant octopus that attacks the crew during one of the book’s most exciting parts. You can find any toy submarine (although the more steampunk the style, the better) to serve as the Nautilus, while the only requirement for the toy octopus is that it’s bigger than any other individual ornament on the tree. Either makes for a good tree topper, but I do find that the Nautilus looks best floating around the center of the tree.

Around the World in Eighty Days

Wealthy bachelor Phileas Fogg wagers that, with the creation of a new railroad system in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in just 80 days. Taking along his valet Passepartout, Phileas embarks on a grand race against time for the adventure of a lifetime.

Although Phileas and Passepartout never actually use a hot air balloon in the book, the image of their sky-bound travels has been used in so many movies and TV shows that it’s the most recognizable aspect of the story. It’d be a shame not to use the popular conception of the story for our tree, so we might as well do without literary faithfulness this time.

A light blue Christmas tree will suit this scheme best. Line the lower portion of your tree with ornaments in the shape of buildings and homes from different cultures – go for as much variety as you can! Scatter a few white ball ornaments along the upper third of your tree to serve as clouds. A pocket watch makes for a quaint-looking ornament, while at the same time serving as a reminder of Fogg’s time limit. Make sure you hang a toy hot air balloon in the most visible spot in the sky; it’s the star of the show, after all! You can either top the tree with a clock or the sun, or you can leave it bare.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg with Jules Verne! You can draw inspiration from his enormous body of work, which includes creative masterpieces like A Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, and The Mysterious Island, among many others. Have fun, and let your imagination run wild with his stories!