Christmas decorations: Many consumers are increasingly willing to spend more money on decorations
Those who prefer to wait longer have little chance: Giant deer will soon be to be admired in the shopping center.
Life-size Santa Clauses, snow globes and reindeer in late summer temperatures: lovers of Christmas decorations can soon start shopping. With the upcoming opening of his store specializing in Christmas in downtown Essen, the Belgian Benny van Roy is one of the pioneers in the industry.
"It always starts earlier"
"Will be bought from September", the 56-year-old, who also runs Christmas goods markets in Belgium and the Netherlands, is certain. On a shop area of around 1,000 square meters in the district metropolis, van Roy will be offering Christmas accessories from this Thursday on – at prices between around 2.50 euros and more than 100 euros.
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"Everyone tries to jump on this hype and it starts earlier and earlier", says Uwe Krüger from the Cologne Institute for Retail Research (IFH). "The trade is turning faster and faster." Many consumers are also increasingly willing to spend more money on decoration, albeit with only moderate growth.
Millions in sales of Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations: Many consumers are increasingly willing to spend more money on decorations. (Source: anyaberkut / Getty Images)
According to calculations by the IFH, around 240 million euros were spent in Germany in 2016 on Christmas decorations and electric string lights. In addition, there would be the expenses for battery-bound fairy lights as well as a non-quantifiable share of the total annual turnover with candles of around 730 million euros. In the broader sense of the deco, spending of a good 700 million euros on Christmas trees could also be added.
The industry already had its planned start of sales in September at the world’s largest trade fair for seasonal decorative items "Christmasworld" announced at the beginning of the year in Frankfurt. According to the general manager of the Furniture and Kitchen Association (BVDM), Thomas Grothkopp, many suppliers such as furniture stores and garden centers are still waiting for the Halloween horror festival to be done before Christmas items are put on the shelves in November.
Trend towards high-quality craftsmanship
Despite still numerous cheap imports from the Far East, the industry had propagated a trend towards high-quality craftsmanship and natural materials at the 2018 meeting. Hand-painted figures made of papier-mâché are supposed to create a contemplative mood, as are unusual fairy lights with small lobsters or reproduced cabbages as Christmas tree balls. However, if that’s too colorful or too expensive, you can also fall back on the traditional range.
And even those who initially do without at home could soon be confronted with Christmas things while shopping. In the course of dealing with the growing online trade, the 150 shopping centers of the largest German operator, ECE, want to create a Christmas spirit as much as possible. According to a spokesman, 15 oversized deer, 91 Christmas trees and 450,000 LED lights are to be used for Christmas this year in the MyZeil shopping center alone on Frankfurt’s shopping mile.
Sources used: dpa
Advent is just around the corner – the perfect moment to think about the Christmas decorations. For example, make a decorative Christmas tree for the table or window sill from old books.
Make your own Christmas decorations
All you need to make the Christmas tree out of old books is a cutter knife, a pencil, a disused bound booklet, glue, a pair of scissors, a geo-triangle and a hot glue gun.123helpme.me Since you’ll have to cut up the book later, don’t use any of your favorite novels. You also need a wood saw and a straight branch. Start by removing the spine of the book from the glued pages using the cutter knife. Be careful not to damage the glue that holds the pages together.
A Christmas tree made from old books
Now lay the uncovered book so that the side with the glue is on the left. Then draw a diagonal from top left to bottom right with the pencil and the set square. Next, everything above this line needs to be cut away with the cutter knife. Then open the pages and glue the first and last pages together. Now follows a step in which you better go to the door: You now have to saw off a four to five centimeter long piece of the branch with the saw. Make sure that both cuts are horizontal – after all, the Christmas tree should also be straight at the end.
Table decoration with a difference
Finally, use the hot glue gun to apply a generous blob of glue to one of the flat wooden sides and then attach the fanned-out sides to it. Let it dry briefly – the extraordinary Christmas decoration is ready.
Why is there a tree in the room at Christmas? Why are balls hanging on it? And what is this Advent wreath? Many don’t know the answer to such questions – and look stupid on the holidays. A few backgrounds for small talk in Advent and at Christmas can be found here.
Advent wreath, tree balls, incense smokers: During the Christmas season there are numerous traditional decorations, the origins of which go back centuries. So that the conversation doesn’t run out at the Christmas party, here is an overview of the most important customs.
Why is there a Christmas tree?
For people who could not read or write, two games have been developed on Christmas Eve since the 13th century: the Paradise and the Nativity Play, explains the Catholic theologian Manfred Becker-Huberti. The nativity play represented the birth of Jesus. The Paradise Game explains how original sin came into the world: Eve and Adam ate a forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge and became mortal. "North of the Alps, the fruit is represented by a red apple hanging from a green tree."
Why are lights and balls hanging in the tree today?
Under Martin Luther, Christmas became a family festival. The Christmas tree appeared on the table of gifts among the evangelical nobility – and candles turned it into a tree of lights that symbolized Jesus as the light of the world. "At the end of the 16th century, the custom of putting up a tree in the living room for Christmas was born in Alsace", explains Thies Gundlach, theological vice-president of the church office of the Evangelical Church in Germany. Around 1900, according to Becker-Huberti, the Catholics took over the family celebrations for Christmas and the associated customs.
The birthplace of the colored glass balls is said to be Lauscha in southern Thuringia, says Gundlach. Because a poor glassblower couldn’t afford nuts and apples in 1847, he made the fruits himself and hung colorful apples, pears and nuts made of glass on the tree.
Why do people set up a crib?
The idea of the feeding manger as the birthplace of Jesus can be traced back to early Christianity. Such a manger stood next to the church altar at Christmas. In the Middle Ages, a Jesus doll was placed in it, which was made to rock during Christmas lullabies. The staging of the birth by Francis of Assisi, who had a nativity scene built with an ox, donkey and life-size wax figures, became popular. "The oldest Jesuit nativity scene is said to have been set up in Coimbra, Portugal, in 1560"says Martin J. Martlreiter, President of the Association of Bavarian Crib Friends.
What does the Advent wreath stand for?
The Advent wreath goes back to an invention of the pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern in 1839. Since the orphans he was looking after asked when it would finally be Christmas, he built a wooden wreath with 20 small red and four large white candles as a calendar from an old wagon, explains Gundlach. Every day during Advent another candle was lit, on Sundays one of the big candles, so that the children could count the days until Christmas.
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Why is the incense smoker a Christmas decoration?
Initially, incense smokers were simply covers for incense candles and cones and were used to comfortably burn the incense, reports Gundlach. They were first mentioned in 1830. "Originally one depicted popular characters in life, for example different professions of the people", says Dieter Uhlmann from the Association of Erzgebirge Craftsmen and Toy Manufacturers. Then the craftsmen also developed figurines for Christmas.
During Advent you can make your own Christmas tree decorations in no time at all. How about, for example, a pendant on which your favorite photo is immortalized? Read here how the individual Christmas decoration works.
Christmas tree decorations made of wood: Here’s how
To make the individual Christmas tree decorations out of wood, you need a decorative wooden disc, which you can easily buy in the craft shop or saw yourself to size. At the upper end there should always be a small eyelet for fastening. You will also need a brush and napkin varnish for the Christmas decorations – also from the craft shop – and a few of your favorite photos or pictures of special moments from the past year. When choosing the photo, make sure that the subject is no larger than the pane itself.
Make individual Christmas decorations yourself
Now take the brush in hand and generously coat the wooden disc with the napkin varnish. Ideally, at the end of the day, not much of the wood grain can be seen. Now place the cut-out photo with the motif facing down on the wooden disc and apply another layer of the napkin varnish. Afterwards you have to be a little patient because the future wooden Christmas tree decorations have to rest overnight.
Memories on the Christmas tree
The next morning you have to remove the picture from the wooden disc by briefly holding the Christmas decorations under warm water and carefully rubbing the paper with a sponge. When the individual Christmas tree decorations made of wood have dried, you can knot a piece of string to the eyelet, attach a small bow if necessary and hang everything together on the tree.
If you like candlelight, there are a lot of candle scraps spread over the year. With our instructions you can easily make new candles yourself from these wax residues.
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Small candle stubs that remain in the holder can no longer be re-lit, but you don’t have to throw away the wax residue. Because you can use it to make candles yourself, with the help of which rooms shine in atmospheric light. You can also set very personal accents with the small, unique pieces.
Instructions: Make candles yourself in a glass
Pouring candles: as soon as the wax is liquid, you can pour it into the jars. (Source: PamWalker68 / Getty Images)
Candle scraps, sorted by color, candle wick from the craft store or cotton thread for the wick, glasses or cups, mason jar, adhesive tape, wooden stick, toothpicks
Fill a saucepan with a little water and let it get hot – it shouldn’t boil. Put in a second pot or bowl with your leftover wax. The candles are especially beautiful if the remains of the candles are similar in color; it can take a long time for all of the wax to melt in the water bath. Keep stirring with a wooden stick and use it to fish any wick residue and other contaminants out of the liquid wax. Caution: Work as neatly and carefully as possible, because wax dripping directly onto the stove top will generate a lot of steam. If you are not using a candle wick but a cotton thread, dip it into the liquid wax and then let it cool down. Repeat this process up to four times and stick a strip of tape over the center of a glass. Use the toothpick to poke a hole in the center of the adhesive strip and position the wick in it. Now carefully pour the hot, liquid wax into the glass and let it cool down. If you repeat the process with different colored wax, for example, you will get a nice pattern. Finally, remove the adhesive strip.
Homemade candles: With different colors, the candles look even more sophisticated. (Source: AGLPhotoproductions / Getty Images)
Tip: Instead of a glass, you can also use an empty toilet roll. Before pouring in the wax, place it as straight as possible in a vessel filled with sand. When the candle wax is hard but still a little warm, carefully peel the paper roll off the candle.
Making scented candles
If you want to make scented candles yourself, proceed as described in the instructions above. Finally, add a few drops of aroma oil to the liquid candle wax before pouring it into your mold.
Tip: The wick of a candle is best about ten millimeters long. If it is longer, it may develop a lot of soot. If it is too short, the flame withers. If you accidentally cut the wick so short that the candle can barely burn, you can blow it out and pour off some liquid wax. Then cut off the high edge of the candle – then the flame lights up again as desired.
Make floating candles yourself
Floating candles: they are a beautiful decoration. (Source: Redeleit-L./imago images)
You can also easily make floating candles yourself. To do this, melt the wax as described in the instructions above. Finally, fill the wax into small molds such as ice cube trays or other silicone molds. Let the small candles harden well and then remove them from the mold.