A Very Merry Museum Christmas

At Museum140, we’re big suckers for Christmas so we like to do something special to mark the occasion. This is a little archive of what we have done over the past years.

Secret Santa

One of our most popular Christmas activities has been Secret Santa 2.0. It first stated in 2011, and was repeated the following two years due to popular demand. Museum friends from all over the world signed up, and were given the name and address of someone in return, to whom they then had to send a surprise parcel to in time for Christmas. It could be either something you’d bought or, if you were feeling creative, something you made, along with a Christmas greeting. Around 40 people have taken part each year.


Advent Calendar

In  2011 our Adopt-a-Museum main feature took a wee break. Instead, we created an Adopt-a-Museum spin off Advent Calendar! Each day from 1 to 24 December you could discover a new museum, recommended either by the team at Museum140 or by one of our previous adopters who were so keen they wanted to recommend another museum! The calendar still focused mostly on smaller, lesser known museums, though we relaxed the rules a bit, especially for some of the more unusual museums that often feature e.g. on “world’s wackiest museums” lists, as we wanted the calendar to be fun. The site we used for our calendar has now been retired, but you can still review all the featured museums in our blog archive.


In 2012, the Advent Calendar was back by popular demand. From 1-24 December, there was a new museum for you to discover in our Advent Calendar Gallery every day, with recommendations both from the Museum140 team and previous participants in our Adopt-a-Museum project.


Don’t forget, we’re always looking for new Adopt-a-Museum participants, so if you know a little gem of a museum you’d like to propose, please get in touch!

Christmas Bauble Contest

In 2012 we decided to have a Christmas Bauble Contest! We sent out 20 plain plastic baubles, waiting to be decorated from the inside and/ or outside. Participants, who came from 6 different countries, could then either send us back the finished baubles to hang on our Christmas tree, or just send us a photo of their finished work of art. Of the 20 baubles, 14 were entered in to the competition, with half of those making it on to our tree.


There was then a period of public voting, where everyone could vote for their favourite baubles. The bauble with the most votes won a goody bag full of souvenirs from some of our favourite museums. The prize went to Russell Dornan from England, for his bauble filled with mini origami stars made from museum pamphlets (see below). There was also a prize for one of the voters, whose name was picked at random. It went to Jack Shoulder from the wonderful blog ‘Jack’s Adventures in Museum Land’.


MuseXmas Pinterest Board

In 2012 we also started a board on Pinterest, where we collected Christmas trees from museums around the world. In the first year, we pinned over 20 different trees:


In 2013 we pinned almost 50 different trees! Pinterest had also by this time introduced their new map feature, meaning we were able to plot out exactly where all the trees were around the world.


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