MIDLAND, Mich. — For Christmas ornament collectors who want to know the ornaments that will be among the most sought after this fall, the author of “The Experts Guide To Collecting Ornaments” has some advice. “The ornament collecting hobby has changed a good bit since the 1990’s,” said author Harold Nicoll. “The collectors’ age, interests and situation in life will have a lot more to do with the ornaments they want and will buy. Popular culture and even the price of fuel will also affect ornament trends this Fall.”

Baby Boomers Still Lead Collectors

People of the Baby Boom generation are still the biggest collectors because they are the largest group and have the most money, compared with other population groups. “Baby boomers prosperity may mean they approach buying ornaments for their second and third homes, or as gifts or remembrances for their grandchildren,” Nicoll said. “They (boomers) will be less concerned about price and more interested in finding something eye catching and unique.”

Christmas Economics

How does the price of oil affect the price and availability of Christmas ornaments? “Since petroleum is the basis of plastics, the price of it will affect the price and availability of plastic ornaments,” Nicoll said. “But it is more likely the price of fuel will keep people home during the holidays, instead of driving or flying to visit friends or relatives. And if they stay choose to stay close to home, it is possible they will put some extra effort into decorating their homes.”

Home Size & Tree Size

Fuel and housing trends will affect the ornament business. Artificial tree sizes have been larger in recent years as people have purchased bigger homes and needed bigger trees to go in them. But the increase in oil prices could make high ceiling homes less appealing. “With the price of heating and cooling big homes going ever higher, people will likely buy smaller homes and therefore need smaller trees,” Nicoll said. “Smaller trees will need fewer ornaments and that will impact the business.”

So What To Buy?

Batman, Homer Simpson, and Eric Cartman are not traditional Christmas characters or even characters we strongly associate with Christmas like Charlie Brown, Snoopy or Rudolf. But characters from popular culture are important to ornament collectors.

“Cartoon characters and other cultural icons and licensed images created by well known artists are now part of the decorating and collecting scene,” Nicoll said. “A recognizable or well known name makes a big difference to collectors now more than it did a few years ago.”

Hot Ornament Predictions For Christmas ’06

The Simpsons: The longest running animated show in history will spawn a feature length motion picture in the summer of 2007. The popular show will reach new heights of collectibility. All things Simpsons will be very popular in 2007.

Batman: The revived movie series from Warner Brothers has another movie in the works tentatively titled, “The Dark Knight.” Heath Ledger is signed to play The Joker in the second installment of the new series. Kurt Adler has a line of Batman ornaments that are faithful to the news series. It should prove popular.

Thomas Kincaid: Thomas Kincaid’s light drenched and nostalgic images are part of a brand new line of ornaments from Kurt Adler. People relate better too artists and artwork they know and recognize. There are entire ornament companies based on the work of a single artist. This will be the next big thing in ornaments.

To learn more about Christmas ornaments and how to build a better collection, go to

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