When she mulled over the idea of "tradition," she turned to her monster family.
"They've become a part of the family," Fioravante said.
The portraits became part of the exhibit, each hung above a bright pink "mantle" on which a specially created stocking hangs. The stockings were custom fit to the monster's physical characteristics, be it technically footless or even a foot with an extra toe.
A large fallen branch became the framework for a tree that Fioravante's son Marcus crafted. In keeping with the monster theme, it features eyeballs peeking out in several spots.
A chair, a plate of fossilized cookies for Santa and a custom book complete the exhibit.
"It's such a good family thing," Fioravante said of the project with her now-grown children.
Connery said inspiration for his tree came from a winter scene last year - a bright red cardinal poised on a tree in a snowstorm.
He turned to origami, the paper folding art, to carry out the idea and said he was amazed at just how elaborate the art form is. He selected a relatively simple snowflake pattern, creating the snowflakes in white tracing paper, white copy paper, newspaper and foil.
"Numbers 2 to 56 weren't hard," he said. The first one was another story. As for the bright red cardinal, he admits to a few cuss words and thrown paper in that process.
The base of a tree is a wooden electrical spool that is lit from the center to show off the snowflakes, suspended from twine and anchored to the ceiling.
Joshua Jones, who works as a graphic designer and photographer for the Clay Center, tried his hand for the first time with a Trufula Tree, inspired by the classic Dr. Seuss story, "The Lorax."
Don't be fooled by the seeming simplicity of the fluff-topped tree. Jones started with a piece of PVC pipe that he heated and bent to sway like the real Lorax tree. Then he covered the PVC with a series of rings cut from industrial Styrofoam insulation. The trunk was anchored to a wooden base, painted and topped with a large Styrofoam ball covered in feather boas.
Friday's exhibit opening includes lots of kid-friendly activities that are part of Holly Day.
From noon to 4 p.m., activities include making reindeer hats, cards and ornaments, a 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. visit from Santa, and field day fun including a tree-decorating relay and pass-the-ornament competition.
All events, with the exception of ornament making, which comes with a $2 charge, are free with regular museum admission.
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.