(Bloomberg) -- For many people, the holiday season doesn’t truly begin until the tree goes up. And yet the vast majority will buy a set of basic ornaments once—either Christmas-themed Santas and reindeers or those ubiquitous red, green, and metallic balls—and never update them. After all, since they’re used only during holiday season, they can last a long time.
Others decorate their trees with the sentimental handmade things that their children made when they were in elementary school, as if decorating the tree out of a sense of duty. But those those chipped Disney ornaments and crumbling candy canes can still remain meaningful if they’re lovingly stored in a safe place—or just hidden in the back of the tree.
There’s some evidence that consumers are updating their decorating habits. Last year, after Covid-19 lockdowns, Americans spent $60 on average for decorations during the holiday season—up from $41 a decade ago. This year, it’s up to $63 on average, according to Statistica. That’s an increase of almost $10 per household compared with 2015.
While family heirlooms and cherished children’s ornaments will always have their place, sometimes you just want a showstopper living room centerpiece. Here are eight of our favorites from this season.
Jay Strongwater 25th Anniversary Jeweled Glass OrnamentThe New York designer is known for gorgeous annual ornaments. In honor of his silver jubilee, he crafted this masterpiece, a mouth-blown, hand-painted jeweled glass orb. It is also hand-set with Swarovski crystals in a dazzling array of colors. For display on a tabletop, it also comes with a golden stand topped with a red bow. $450
Lalique Merles et Raisins OrnamentLooking more like an Olympic medal than the traditional sphere-shaped baubles that adorn most trees, this flat, red crystal ornament features an archival design from 1928 that was originally used for the Orient Express. The depiction of blackbirds and grapes comes courtesy of French maison Lalique, which is known for beautiful and delicate crystal pieces. $140
Atelier Swarovski Daniel Libeskind Eternal Star OrnamentPerfect for a modern, minimalist decor, the irregular shape of this starchitect-designed ornament sparkles from every angle. Inside, it still nods to tradition with a hand-sketched star. $79
Michael Aram Mistletoe OrnamentThis large, 6-inch bauble will make quite a statement on your tree. It features a delicate web of golden mistletoe leaves and is finished with gold leaf—a showcase for the designer’s background as a sculptor. $185
Tiffany & Co. Tree Ornaments You might have a Tiffany box under the tree, but what about on your tree? These gorgeous tree-shaped ornaments are crafted in the jeweler’s iconic Tiffany Blue color and come in a set of three. Each has a contemporary design and a different motif, including stars or stripes. $375, available in stores
Arhaus Glass Kismet Ornaments Every tree needs a base of baubles, but they don’t have to be boring. These delicate, teardrop-shaped glass ornaments have a speckled white finish that suits a winter wonderland theme. They come in a set of six, so you can buy several and have a cohesive background. $114
Houses & Parties Je Suis Mort Add a playful touch with the Je Suis Mort ornament from Houses & Parties. This mouth-blown ornament is hand-painted in Italy and inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte, although it also looks like a character from the Nutcracker. It hangs from a dip-dyed silk ribbon and measures 7 inches tall. $98
Claridge’s 2021 Christmas BaubleIf you can’t travel to London to see the hotel’s opulent decorations in this holiday season, you can still enjoy its festive spirit at home. This art deco-inspired ornament has a sophisticated white, black, and gold color scheme and features the hotel’s Rocking Zebra, its eclectic take on a traditional rocking horse. From $47
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