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Posted Date: 6/5/2012

Top Ten Trends in Ornaments for 2012

Ornaments fit many needs for holiday shoppers. From a gift in and of itself to a last-minute add-on to a prized heirloom, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. As holiday trends come and go and discretionary spending ebbs and flows, ornaments remain a stalwart seller for Christmas retailers.

1. Fashion Forward Colors

The latest craze in the holiday market is for unusual colors. The hues that made a splash on the fashion runways are now making their way into Christmas ornaments. Glass Eye, known for its artistic offerings, has recently released its Holiday Brights series. This collection features a fresh approach to seasonal with hues like Aqua Twist, Pumpkin Twist and Pistachio Drape. Beth Lorentz, vice president/marketing for Midwest-CBK notes, “Hot color trends include jewel tones like wine, ruby and teal.”

2. Personal Touches

Personalized ornaments are perennial best-sellers and this ornament niche seems to retain selling power throughout the year. “Mothers and grandparents are probably the most likely to buy personalized ornaments — they often collect them for their children and grandchildren every year, and buy them for the holidays whenever and wherever they see them,” Christine Casey, owner of Ornament Central states. “In the spring and summer, ornaments are more often purchased as mementos by families on vacation, as well as for a gift for special occasions such as a new baby, First Communion, graduation, etc.”

3. Glass Acts
Richard Hampton, AIFD, CFD, product development and design lead for Regency International, reveals a wide range of emerging styles for Christmas 2012, however one constant, was the inclusion of glass ornaments. Glass is definitely making a come-back as buyers want that elegant and luxurious look with upscale materials. From retro to old world, glass ornaments can fill a style need. “Metallic silver glass ornaments with brightly colored stripes and glitter enhanced recesses are a favorite,” Hampton notes.

4. The Theme’s the Thing…
“Some of our most popular themes in ornaments are our Wine and Vineyard line — always popular — and our Shoe line,” Melanie Velez, marketing manager for Kurt S. Adler notes. “Many shoe ornaments now include matching purses!” Velez also notes that cupcake ornaments are becoming big sellers and offer a totally different and fun look. Plus they feel realistic down to the crinkly cupcake wrappers encasing each one.

5. LED-ing the Way
The lighting industry has been revolutionized over the past several years and now the LED technology is becoming a regular component in ornaments as well. Novelty items have been utilizing LED lights and Roman recently introduced and saw great success with LED ornaments. Even companies with a more traditional aesthetic are embracing the LED technology. G.Debrekht has added an LED-illuminated ornament offering to its line.  

6. Deck the Halls DIY
Taking personalization one step further, another selling craze for ornaments of late has been adding a distinct do-it-yourself element. Coton Colors offers personalization packages that enable retailers to encourage patrons to “design their own ornament” with its “Party in a Box.” Enesco has introduced an interactive offering with the Bead It! line by Department 56. Customers can string together their own ornament with 35 hand-painted glazed porcelain beads plus hats, heads, bodies, and sentiment beads with a stylized hook.   

7. For Art’s Sake
As the showpiece in the room, the Christmas tree is a natural place to display some true works of art. More buyers are seeking to splurge on statement pieces to make an impact. “Our products have been successful because of their ‘wow’ effect,” Yasamin Bahadorzadeh, co-founder/CMO of ProunaUSA, states. Holiday offerings from Prouna are crafted from fine bone china and some are even bejeweled with genuine Swarovski crystals and plated in 24 karat gold or platinum. Dapolonia puts its high-end spin on ornaments with a Faberge Imperial Rosebud Egg that retails for $159.95.

8. Front & Back Focus
Designs that are continued on the back of ornaments with the same degree of intricacy as the front are becoming a bigger draw for shoppers. “The front view on our ornaments is always different from the back,” Suzanne Myal, owner of Artistry of Poland, notes. “Buyers are looking for detailed design and quality execution,” James Pfeffer, owner of Tannenbaum Treasures, agrees.  

9. License to Trim
From Kurt Adler’s Jersey Shore cast ornaments to Roman’s Elf on the Shelf or Peanuts from Enesco, the licensing machine is always churning out opportunities for holiday sales. “Once a person begins to buy our licensed products, they tend to make it part of their holiday tradition and they continue to purchase new items every year,” Bob Watson, Jr., vice president of sales & marketing for Annalee, states.

10. Nesting for the Holidays
Bird themes are still high-flying for ornament makers. This natural segue of putting birds in trees, continues to inspire designers who now are raising the bar on these feathered friends.


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2011 Christmas Tree Themes
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