Christmas Ornaments today are commercialized      By Kaden Quinn

The tradition of decorating a Christmas tree is one that many people look forward to as the first step in preparing for this celebration of faith. Ornaments today that are chosen to adorn a Christmas tree may have sentimental value as in a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament, “Our First Christmas Together” ornament, or the ornament itself may show an interest or hobby of the bearer such as sports related ornaments, fishing, gardening, reading, favorite movie or television characters, etc. Other ornaments may be placed on the tree for pure decoration value following a theme enjoyed by the owner. As with many aspects of the Christmas celebration, ornaments have become a commercialized, money making piece of the Christmas pie.

A report from the National Retail Federation projects that Americans spend more than 600 billion dollars on Christmas. While most of the money is spent on gifts, an average of $51.43 is spent on decorations of which the Christmas ornament falls, by each American that celebrates Christmas.

According to the Hallmark Corporation, in 1973 they introduced their first collection of “Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments”. Their collection consisted of six glass ball ornaments and 12 yarn figures. This was the start of the now famous ornament collection that many people anticipate purchasing as the Christmas season begins. Since then, Hallmark has created over 8,000 different ornaments and more than 100 different theme based ornaments as part of their “Keepsake” collection.

While the significance of the ornament has not changed for many consumers, the materials in which they are made have widened due to the ever changing world of technology. The original glass balls and yarn figures have evolved into ornaments made of wood, acrylic, bone china, porcelain, and even handcrafted formats.

The Hallmark company prides themselves on their ever-changing assortment of Christmas ornaments for the avid collector, but as stated on Hallmark.com/Newsroom, their “superior craftsmanship and high quality still ensures that Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments will become family heirlooms and cherished collectibles.”

These “cherished collectibles” may be just that, collectibles. The value of the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament may be more than sentimental. A wide range of Hallmark ornaments are available for purchase from online shopping sites such as Ebay.com and Amazon.com. The cost of these “originals” range from an opening bid of 99 cents to into the hundreds of dollars for a specific themed collection.

So, that ornament collection that the average American has obtained over the years and the money spent to decorate the Christmas tree may have developed into a small fortune. The question now is, “Are you willing to part with said ornaments?” If the answer is “yes” then it is very likely someone out there is waiting to buy them.

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