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TRIM YOUR TREE TRADITIONALLY; NOSTALGIC AND COLLECTIBLE ORNAMENTS ARE 'HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS' SAYS 'GIFTS AND DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES' EDITOR

TRIM YOUR TREE TRADITIONALLY; NOSTALGIC AND COLLECTIBLE ORNAMENTS ARE 'HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS' SAYS 'GIFTS AND DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES' EDITOR
 NEW YORK, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- It's Christmas Eve at the Baily home. Most of the clan is gathered around the tree unwrapping treasured ornaments that have been a part of their family tradition for as long as they all can remember. Janie is practicing on the piano and Zu Zu is resting a cold. Everyone wonders when their father, George Baily, will be getting home from work to join in this evening's festivities -- it's a wonderful life!
 Although this scene seems reminiscent of times gone by, this decade's frugal, budget-conscious family is returning to the shared- rituals of an old-fashioned, all-American holiday. And since the beginning of our history, a creatively-decorated evergreen, with dozens of family heirloomed ornaments, has been the center of Christmas celebrations.
 "Everything old is new again," said Phyllis Sweed, editor and co- publisher of "Gifts & Decorative Accessories" magazine -- the leading publication of the gift, tabletop, gourmet, home accessories, gift basket, greeting card, stationary, and paper goods industry. "With the recent years focus on 'the home,' and rebirth of the family (Research Alert reported that U.S. births in 1991 came very close to the record broken in 1957), Christmas has become more traditional and nostalgic than ever."
 Ornament collecting has become quite exciting, with shops setting up displays as early as July to get a headstart on what's going to be in demand for the holiday season. First editions cause quite a spark with ornament enthusiasts, although design and collectibility are the first considerations. The most noticed change, though, are the types of ornaments everyone wants -- the more nostalgic, the better!
 The 'new' heirloom quality of tree ornaments and decorative collectibles are an early sign. Tree trimming was an important Christmas custom throughout the United States and Northern Europe whose enthusiasm faded during the 70's and 80's, but now with the 'back to basics' boom of the 90's, tree decorating has once again become fashionable.
 "It's how Christmas used to be -- families together to trim the tree with ornaments they have collected throughout the years. The trend revolves around the antique look," noted Sweed. "Colors are back to reds, greens, and burgundys, as opposed to the silver and gold of the past."
 Tree ornaments have grown in popularity as gifts, too. Ornaments that have meaning are the foundation of heirlooms passed down to later generations. Ornament reproductions are now even being brought in from East Germany. "They're gifts that last a very long time," added Sweed. many collectors buy an ornament from the various vacation spots they've visited -- a tartan bagpipe from Scotland, a frilly mask from New Orleans, or a Santa Mickey Mouse from Walt Disney World.
 Collectible ornaments for children are very special gifts. "Baby's First Christmas" and nursery rhymes are the most commonly seen themes. Couples celebrate with "Our First Christmas Together," and grandparents enjoy "No. 1 Grandma or Grandpa" trimmings from their children or grandchildren. Others collect personalized items with dates. A popular dated ornament this year, predicts Sweed, will be one of the many limited edition Columbus Quincentennial items. And, to everyone's surprise, last year's first edition "Star Trek" ornament caused such a stir that orders for this year's second edition began being taken in June!
 It is not generally agreed when or where the custom of Christmas trees and tree decorating began, but it is believed that the custom is a survival of the tree worship of ancient German tribes (the Christmas tree began appearing in German literature in 1604.) When the pagans of Northern Europe became Christians, they made their scared evergreens past of the Christian festival and decorated the trees with gilded nuts, candles, and apples, each standing for the star, sun, and the moon.
 So, if you need a little Christmas right this very minute (be it Christmas in July or December), deck the halls with that suntanned-Santa bought in Aruba last February -- and think tradition!
 -0- 10/13/92
 /CONTACT: Linda Verdon or Barry Schwartz of Schwartz Public Relations, 212-677-8700/


SM -- NYHFNS23 -- 9072 10/13/92 07:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 1992
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