I come from a country where Christmas is such a huge celebration that Christmas decors, lights and music can be seen and heard as early as September. I absolutely love Christmas season.
The magazine Selling Christmas Decorations (a must-read if you’re in the Christmas business) in their September 2006 issue (pp. 18-19) lists 10 trends for paper products such as stationary, gift cards and greeting cards this upcoming holiday season:
1. The Christmas Girl = the stylish girl carrying Xmas gifts or shopping bags is emerging as the new Xmas icon, edging out Santa Claus (why?!?!?!).
2. Fashion First = even without the stylish girl, consumer culture is becoming the new symbol of Christmas with the use of dresses, shoes and other fashion accessories (which unfortunately speaks of the realities of today’s culture where the true meaning of Christmas has been reduced to shopping and spending).
3. Modernism = traditional cards show Victorian women and furnishings; now card and paper designers are showing more 20th century style and living
4. Beyond Red and Green = The traditional red and green are expanded to include various shades of these hues (e.g. lime green, pink, pastel green, etc.). The newest colors are “fun and funky” and colors such as turquiose, brown and orange are now seen as well.
5. Pop Art = the pop art look of circa-Andy Warhol is being revived in many Christmas products with bold stripes, repeating designs and abstract versions of holiday icons
6. More and Less = Christmas cards are going in two different directions – the minimalist look with sparse design and smaller images with more white space; and the embellished look designed to create a unique look.
7. Diversity = there are more ethnic lines (finally!) from Spanish language cards to African-American themed cards that go beyond Christmas and Kwanzaa holidays
8. Christmas Party = there are more upscale designs for Christmas invitations and even photo cards
9. Hitting Price Points = High-end handmade card lines were the norm of the past; now some suppliers are focusing on lower price points that have been left out in the past (yes, we want more of the inexpensive but unique cards!)
10. New product categories = new products such as pop-up gift toppers which are 3-dimensional alternative to bows; new ways to package gifts such as trinket purses, big-top boxes and treat bags.