Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Gift Post--Ornament Tree Goes Up

In the great tradition* of historic department stores such as Abraham and Strauss (Brooklyn), Rich's (Atlanta), Kaufmann's (Pittsburgh), and really, I can't name them all (yes, actually I can, but I won't bore you), we decorate the store for the Christmas selling season. We don't exactly subscibe to the orthodox Thanksgiving through Christmas day only; I'm more of a November 15th through December 31st kind of guy.

That said, we already put up our Christmas tree. Here's why. Last year we brought in ornaments and sold them out of baskets. They did ok, but the ex-Shorewood Schwartz folk convinced me they would sell better off a tree (the ex-Downer folk did not have an opinion). We do have a tree, but it's not in good enough shape for the selling floor--that one is relegated to the front window. We bought a new one this year (yes, at Stein's. I bought it at the one just inside the city limits on South 27th Street, almost but not quite tempted by the blood-orange-flavored Dots gumdrops on clearance. I liked the footprint of the pre-lit slimline model, and Amie gave me advice on the height--we went with the six footer. It's nicer than the ones we saw at the national chains).

So have we decorated too early? Decoration is decoration, but every store has their ornaments out, and we've got to sell ours too.

I think we used three different vendors this year. We only have a few tin ornaments left from last year, that went out at half price. You'll also find a small assortment wrap at 50% off and boxed cards at 25% off. Just a wee bit.

I'm still on this bird kick, though we also got some deer and snowmen. Most of the ornaments are $4-5 each (there are some clip on ones that are 3 for $14.95, which if you divide, is comparable). There is one wooden ornament I really liked that is $6.95 (pictured). We'll see what folks think of that price point.

*These stores were at least at one time owned by Jewish families...and invented a lot of the modern Christmas traditions. A few years ago I read a book that explained that the Christmas holiday parade was originally conceived as a march of the holiday windows.