By: John Allen
I am often asked by others' "Where can I obtain nice Christmas ornaments, not 'Faberge Egg' nice, but nicer than wholesale retail outlets?"
Perhaps the question of where to buy nice holiday ornaments is presented to me due to my tenure in the ornament industry, catering to an international crowd that expects the very best. And lucky for them, I have the answers.
I am in the business of achieving client requests with utmost taste in a timely fashion. Furthermore, I am an ornament collector for any of you out there wondering. Here are establishments that I find to be the most reputable in terms of heirloom quality pieces at reasonable prices:
White House Christmas Ornament provides a huge selection of heirloom quality ornaments that anyone would be proud to give or receive as a gift. This is my favorite site for all DC themed ornaments, and there are hundreds to choose from, including collections from The White House, Capitol Hill, Supreme Court, Mount Vernon, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, the Washington Monument and other American made ornaments. If you are looking to buy any of these online, check out WhiteHouseChristmasOrnament.com. They also have a very friendly on-site staff.
The Washington National Cathedral also produces a quality collectible ornament every year. This year's beautiful, limited edition ornament features an intricate 24 kt gold outer rim mimicking the windows in the cathedral, framing a stunning, colorful likeness of the Washington National Cathedral. Each ornament comes with a gift box and story card. Designed and made in the USA. To view and purchase the ornament go to their website, Shop.Cathedral.org.
One website I frequent for a variety of ornaments is A Christmas Ornament. They carry over 100 different ornaments made of different materials like brass covered in 24 kt gold and other metals, hand-blown thick-walled art glass, traditional silvered glass in multiple designs such as Frost Velvet Night Before Christmas Glass Ornaments (set of 4), the Red, White and Blue Patriotic Glass Ornament, the Washington Monument ornament and the Cherry Blossom Glass Two Inch Ornament (set of 3). Their selection is terrific and can be found at AChristmasOrnament.com.
Here's something completely different from the everyday: three-dimensional ornaments made completely of chocolate. Chocolate DC calls it their Washington, DC Chocolate Monument Collection. They offer all the iconic monuments of DC: the U.S. Capitol Dome, the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. All ornaments come in white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Each is wrapped in cellophane and are tied closed with a red, white and blue ribbon. These are available at ChocolateDC.com.
No holiday collection is complete without the Smithsonian Institute's annual ornament. While not offering a large selection of Christmas ornaments, they do carry some unique ones such as the Pinecone and Wreath ornament, Stringed Instrument Ornaments (set of 3) and the Cloisonné Bell Ornaments (set of 3). They can be found at SmithsonianStore.com.
Part of the Smithsonian Institute is the National Zoo which offers only one ornament but it is a great one: a painting of the two Giant Pandas: Mei Xiang and Tian Tian with the words "National Zoo" on top and "Washington, DC" on the bottom. It can be found at NationalZooStore.tamretail.net.