High-end Christmas decorations

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Caduceus
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High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Caduceus » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:07 pm

My partner and I are going without Christmas decorations/tree this year as we are both unwilling to fork out retail prices. We are thinking of shopping the week after Christmas to get everything we need for next year instead. It is a bit of a bummer for this year, but to keep us excited for next year, we are already shopping for things we would like to get post-Christmas sales.

What are some high-end Christmas stores with really nice decorations? I only know of Balsam Hill. We would like a fake tree, a topper, ornaments, and that's about it but we want really nice ones.

mainiac
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by mainiac » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:30 pm

For ornaments and decorations, it depends on your definition of "really nice ones".
In my area, we have lots of craft fairs this time of year. There are beautiful, handcrafted one-of-a-kind type of ornaments for a few dollars each.
Etsy perhaps for unique ornaments?

123
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by 123 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:01 pm

In some big metropolitan areas there is a store(s) that only sell Christmas stuff (sometimes seasonal, sometimes all year). To see if there are any in your area you might try searching for "Christmas Store" (without quotes) in google and yelp. For example in the Los Angeles area there is a seasonal store called "Stats" in Pasadena, there may be other similar stores as well.

I think the vast majority of Christmas decorations are made overseas so most of what you get in "High-end" is likely packaging and store presentation, it may not make much difference when you get the stuff home.
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Dottie57
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:09 pm

Invest some time into making decorations. I have beautuful tree dcorations my mom made. I also like. Popcorn and cranberry strings for the tree.

Wilderness Librarian
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Wilderness Librarian » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:32 pm

My guess is that you take a big chance on waiting for post-Christmas sales to get the really nice stuff. Might work might backfire. Obviously it depends on what you like but I would try to find ornaments at local jewelry stores or places selling things like hand blown glass. Look for something special that you will look forward to year after year not something generic. For example in the 80's maybe into the 90s it was possible to buy glass ornaments with volcanic ash glaze from the Mt. St. Helens eruption. Some of the reflections of the tree lights are amazing looking like constellations of tiny stars.

HappyWorkerBee
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by HappyWorkerBee » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:57 pm

The fake tree is the big ticket item where you can save substantially by not buying in Nov. & Dec. If you're going to be waiting anyway, consider buying in July rather than in January.

Other than the tree, I haven't found high-end merchandise prices after the holiday to be substantially better than what you can get at the Black Friday sales and holiday sales in December. Most retailers really don't want to have expensive holiday stuff sitting around after the holiday so they adjust the sales price to sell out of it before hand. This year might be a particularly difficult year for embarking on this endeavor because the economy is at full employment, if that translates into strong sales you can reasonably expect that the good stuff will sell out and never get to the 'after Christmas' sales.

As an example, I like some of the holiday stuff at Macy's. The prices at Macy's before Christmas are about the same as their prices after and they sell out of a lot of it before the holiday. I recently saw the Villeroy & Boch annual holiday mug for about $25. I'd expect it could go for $15 after thanksgiving, and maybe to $13 right before Christmas and not drop any further. Once it gets to $13 you may or may not actually get a mug (they might let you place the order but then tell you later that they can't fill it). Since this is the kind of stuff I can reasonably expect to use for decades, when I see something I like I'd rather spend the extra couple $$ to buy it than wait and have it sell out.

For ornaments in general, I think they're best collected over a period of time rather than scooped up all in one go. When I was still in the market for ornaments I would buy one or two whenever we went on vacation (more in the early years because the tree was naked). If you want to have some ornament filler for now, just buy some of those colorful balls and call it a day, they don't need to be fancy. Your local big box craft decor place probably has them for a reasonable price (eg. Michael's or JoAnn if you live in America).

Snuffycuts99
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Snuffycuts99 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:23 pm

Balsam Hill is nice, we got our tree from there. It is beautiful. Check out Frontgate. Very expensive but they have beautiful items.

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bottlecap
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by bottlecap » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:32 pm

If you actually want to save, buy used. We got a nice used 9 foot Costco Christmas tree for about $50 a few years back. You aren't going to get those deals in a store.

Seems crazy to skip the decorations and be "bummed" this year in the hopes of saving 30% on some slim pickings after the holidays.

JT

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Kenkat
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Kenkat » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:17 pm

You can buy prior year Hallmark ornaments on eBay very cheap; while there are exceptions, most go for much less than original retail. Kohl’s also will list ornaments for 50% right after Christmas.

I’ve been buying the Hallmark Lionel series which Hallmark has figured out is a big draw for people. It was only supposed to last 12 years but has gone much longer and they have added additional cars. I have a ridiculous number of miniature Lionel train ornaments but can’t bring myself to stop as I’ve come this far. A bit goofy I know. I usually wait until after Christmas to save on them.

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Watty
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Watty » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:48 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:32 pm
Seems crazy to skip the decorations and be "bummed" this year in the hopes of saving 30% on some slim pickings after the holidays.
+1

Get a modest set now,or make your own decorations, and then get a few high end pieces each year when you find them.

Calli114
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Calli114 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:22 pm

Snuffycuts99 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:23 pm
Balsam Hill is nice, we got our tree from there. It is beautiful. Check out Frontgate. Very expensive but they have beautiful items.
+1 to Frontgate. Don't know what deals you might find, but I drool over their catalogs.

3hrs
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by 3hrs » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:43 am

About this time of year our local garden center carries a wide assortment of lovely tree ornaments and Christmas decorations for the home. Over the years we have graduated to all glass tree ornaments. Some of our favorites were purchased during our annual Christmas visits to family in Michigan, where we would purchase a Christopher Radko ornament from the wide selection at the Polish Art Center in Hamtrack, MI, the city within the city of Detroit. Their website indicates they do mail order. Or, once you have an idea of your style of ornaments you might find them on eBay.

ThatGuy
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by ThatGuy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:54 am

Caduceus wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:07 pm
We would like a fake tree, a topper, ornaments, and that's about it but we want really nice ones.
Just pick these up over time; it's rather difficult to find your "forever" decorations all at once.

I'd also put a plug in for making your own decorations where you can. The Tacoma Museum of Glass has workshops to blow your own ornaments, and others to fuse glass, and to blow pumpkins, etc. The Corning Museum of Glass has similar workshops, and I bet you have a local glass blowing studio that offers this as well.

Or you can just buy glass ornaments made by talented local artists in your local glass studio.
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Gnirk
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Gnirk » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:01 pm

I bought a Balsam Hill tree two years ago after having fresh trees from the tree farm for 50 years. Love not having to put the lights on the tree! Front gate also has very nice artificial trees.

I’m not sure what kind of ornaments you want. I have been collecting Christopher Radko, Gotham sterling silver ornaments, and Swarovski Crystal annual snowflake ornaments over the years. Some from eBay, some from after Christmas sales, some from Costco ( wherever I find the lowest price for what I want). If you want really high-end ornaments (expensive) try Neiman-Marcus.

123
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by 123 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:41 pm

I have found the Christmas decorations that I like the best are simple ones that I have acquired over the years. Things like a partial set of 7 (that are left) hanging ornaments that used to hang on my (deceased) grandmother's tree and various Christmas ornaments/trinkets that I have been given over the years at work and other Christmas parties and events. Yes they are really a hodge-podge and not the shiny, glitzy, high-end look you might be interested in at the moment. Yes there are a lot of decorated Christmas trees with expensive beautiful ornaments, but they lack a soul.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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djpeteski
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by djpeteski » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:48 pm

Many stores start deeply discounting items prior to Christmas. While perhaps not the high end you are looking for, we purchased some inflatable decorations from Lowe's a full two weeks before the holiday. By the day after they were pretty much cleaned out except for the most unpopular items.

barnaclebob
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:55 pm

Just don't get anything inflatable. Those are so tacky IMO.

bklyn96
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by bklyn96 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:55 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:07 pm
….What are some high-end Christmas stores with really nice decorations?
Take a look at Bronner's

https://www.bronners.com/

cnblure
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by cnblure » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:10 pm

Kathe Wohlfahrt.

imfocusedman
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by imfocusedman » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:38 pm

Mackenzie-Childs

goodlifer
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by goodlifer » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:10 am

I second Bronner's, but I have in inspect everything before I buy there. I'm not sure if online ordering is the same, but the store merchandise is man handled by thousands of people, and some of the boxed items are "made in China" quality with splotches and scratches. An associate and I had to go through almost all of the boxes to find a Christmas tea pot that didn't have an imperfection. I have an wood Advent calendar, and even though it was made in Taiwan, it is very well made.

I also shop the Christkindlmarkets and craft fairs. I have started making my own decorations as well. Pinterest is a big help for ideas. I'm working on a vintage sled that has been sitting in our basement for 10 years right now and our old mailbox is going to be painted red, white, and green whenever I find some extra time. I am still gathering materials for a nice wreath since I can't find any I like in the stores. I'm exasperated with all the junk that is out there. I have only bought two nutcrackers in the past 4 years because they are all sloppy. I used to buy several per year. That is another thing I'm going to have to learn to do myself.

investingdad
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by investingdad » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:57 pm

Unless the nutcracker is coming from Germany, it's very likely going to be a disappointment.

The ones from China are so bad it's laughable.

jdb
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by jdb » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:49 pm

Someone has to be the bah humbug. In my opinion it is not good use of monies to buy expensive Christmas decorations to use for a few weeks each year. Walmart, Target, Ace Hardware and Home Depot all have lots of inexpensive decorations which have worked great for us and children, now grown, over the years. And we enjoyed. Though each year bought one nice commemorative tree decoration for births and special events, now have over 40. Suggest better use for monies are going on fun vacations or even investing per this website. Just my two cents. Good luck.
Last edited by jdb on Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mlm
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Mlm » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:56 pm

I sold all of my Christmas decorations at a garage sale. I couple of young newlyweds bought most everything I had. I'm sure that over time they have probably replaced a lot of things but I was happy that they had a nice tree for their first Christmas.

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PalmQueen
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by PalmQueen » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:39 am

In response to OP's original post, today I received a catalog in the mail from https://www.grandinroad.com/

I've never purchased anything from them so can't speak to that, but the decorations in the catalog look to be high-end and attractive.

We still cling to the tradition of getting a cut tree. They're never perfectly symmetrical but embracing their imperfections is part of the joy.

Good luck in your hunt for what you want. As for this year, I encourage you to explore budget friendly ways to make your home feel festive.

c1over8
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by c1over8 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:19 pm

I had this plan too, to buy on sale/clearance after christmas, but the pickings were too slim. So I waited until the next fall and found some good sales before christmas.

Gil Gunderson
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Gil Gunderson » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:12 pm

Not really answering your question but we buy a Christmas ornament every time we go on vacation. We usally buy towards the end of our trip and try to find something that represents the general theme or some special memory from the trip. Over the years we have accumulated a significant number of ornaments. Setting up the tree is a nastilgic walk down memory lane.

mortfree
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by mortfree » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:49 pm

If you want quality items chances are there will not be a significant sale on them after the holidays.

The deeply discounted stuff you will probably think is junk.

Get the necessities (tree, lights, ornaments). Stock up in the subsequent year(s).

Enjoy THIS Christmas. Next year isn’t guaranteed (just sayin’)

fposte
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by fposte » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:58 pm

Artful Home has amazing glass-blown ornaments. I would be paranoid about breakage, otherwise these would be my choice.

gretah
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by gretah » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:36 pm

OP - for this year, you might just want to get a few fir boughs trimmed from trees at the Xmas tree lot. Then just decorate the boughs.

Boughs are free or very cheap, depending on the lot.

I've done this when I wanted the pine aroma but didn't want a tree. I put them on the mantle with a few baubles and they looked lovely.

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PalmQueen
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by PalmQueen » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:11 pm

mortfree wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:49 pm
If you want quality items chances are there will not be a significant sale on them after the holidays.

The deeply discounted stuff you will probably think is junk.

Get the necessities (tree, lights, ornaments). Stock up in the subsequent year(s).

Enjoy THIS Christmas. Next year isn’t guaranteed (just sayin’)
+++1

BionicBillWalsh
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by BionicBillWalsh » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:04 pm

Restoration Hardware typically has very good quality Christmas decor. As for getting it on sale...Good Luck!

Trism
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Trism » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:23 am

Kenkat wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:17 pm
...Kohl’s also will list ornaments for 50% right after Christmas.
Kohl's has 40-50% off nearly everything nearly all the time, because their prices are fake.

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Kenkat
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Kenkat » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:54 am

Trism wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:23 am
Kenkat wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:17 pm
...Kohl’s also will list ornaments for 50% right after Christmas.
Kohl's has 40-50% off nearly everything nearly all the time, because their prices are fake.
True on everything except Hallmark Christmas ornaments. I’ve seen them at 30% off before Christmas but never 50%. I wait for that extra 20%.

In the retail business, they call Kohl’s pricing strategy “promotional”. Sounds better than fake.

Trism
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Trism » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:45 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:54 am
Trism wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:23 am
Kenkat wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:17 pm
...Kohl’s also will list ornaments for 50% right after Christmas.
Kohl's has 40-50% off nearly everything nearly all the time, because their prices are fake.
True on everything except Hallmark Christmas ornaments. I’ve seen them at 30% off before Christmas but never 50%. I wait for that extra 20%.

In the retail business, they call Kohl’s pricing strategy “promotional”. Sounds better than fake.
Are you trying to suggest that I shouldn't have paid $80 for these lounge pants last Christmas?

Image

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Kenkat
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Kenkat » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:43 pm

Those are worth it at any price. #swag

campy2010
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by campy2010 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:17 pm

My opinion about Christmas decorations is that they are meant to be collected over time. The first year, your collection won't look like the cover of a magazine, but year after year your collection of decorations will grow. And you'll build memories along the way. Waiting and going without this year because you're aiming for perfection seems silly to me. The basics like a tree stand, natural tree, tree skirt, a couple of strands of lights, basic ornaments, etc are not that expensive and won't be found at much of a discount after Christmas. But sure, wait until after Christmas to stock up on additional ornaments, fake trees, more lights, etc. I always keep my eye out for decorations I like and try to find them on sale after Christmas. Its a 50-50 gamble and more often than not I end up disappointed. I wouldn't want to build my entire Christmas collection from the sale rack.

I happen to love hand blown glass ornaments. A favorite of mine is Simon Pierce because they were local to me at one point and they remind me of that time of my life. They're also not something you'll find on sale, even after Christmas.

DarthSage
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by DarthSage » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:50 am

I understand wanting high-end, but agree with PPs that you won't have much luck getting them cheap.

I recommend building a collection slowly--maybe filling in, for now, with inexpensive baubles that you can later toss/donate. Even Walmart sells stacks of coordinated ornaments that would make a lovely tree (if you didn't get too close). You could emulate some of the lovely trees shown in magazines, with bows and swags--actually, for very inexpensive.

For a longer-term goal, I would buy a few, really high-quality ornaments each year. It takes a while, but they'll be more meaningful. We buy ornaments when we travel, and find great joy in putting them on our tree and remembering our adventures. You could do whatever theme you like--glass ornaments, handmade, a specific color, or a meaningful collection (cars, dogs, etc.)

Personally, I have 4 kids, so I go for the eclectic look. These days, our tree is full to bursting, but I'll be shipping off some ornaments to my 23yo, who lives far away and will have her first real tree this year. She'll get ornaments we bought for her through the years (themed to her then-interests), as well as a few handmade ones. Not ones she made so much--I treasure the preschool photos and handprints--but I make fancy ornaments from kits each year.

Trism
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Trism » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:53 am

Kenkat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:43 pm
Those are worth it at any price. #swag
They're even more stunning in person.

Caduceus
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by Caduceus » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:16 am

Thank you everyone for the suggestions. It turns out I just tallied up my purchases for the year and we are spending way too much, so I think we really will just lay off the Christmas decorating for next year. :beer

goodlifer
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by goodlifer » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:18 pm

I forgot to say that a lot of people on a shopping forum say that the Home Depot tree they have for $79 or so every Black Friday is great. You can google "Black Friday sale ads" and see if anything in your price range will be on sale. The Home Depot ad isn't out yet but should be soon.

LovingLife
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Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Post by LovingLife » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:20 pm

We have decorations from several places and Frontgate has the best of the bunch. The fake tree from there looks gorgeous, and their wreaths / garlands / ornaments really pop with color and beauty. Their hand blown ornaments are on par with ones we bought in Italy by artisans who blew the glass while we watched, but you will pay either way - the Frongate ornaments were $600-700 for a collection. We use their ornaments on a different (real) tree we put up in a part of the house the kids don’t get into. We put cheaper plastic ornaments on the fake tree in the family area so the kids can put them up and pull them off without worrying about them breaking and injuring themselves.

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