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Christmas ornaments come from North Pole via China

China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-12-26 15:11

Christmas gifts on sale at a store in New York. SCREENSHOT OF CHINA DAILY VIDEO

How many Christmas decorations did you buy this year that were made in China?

At Christmas Cottage in Midtown Manhattan, Paul Prianti has been running his Christmas ornaments business for 31 years since 1985, selling anything and everything to deck the halls with boughs of jolly.

Christmas Cottage is on Seventh Avenue near New York City's most-visited attractions, and Prianti has welcomed tourists from around the world as well as returning New Yorkers during the Christmas season. Two joyful snowmen wearing little red scarves stand in the store window waving at anyone who stops by to take a photo. On one snowman's belly, it reads: "We Love NY".

There is an "I Love NY" collection of ornaments at the store, where 80 percent of the merchandise comes from China. The rest comes from Germany, the US and Canada.

"They are great quality," Prianti said about the Chinese ornaments. "They are good enough to sell, because if it wasn't, we would have issues."

In Queens, there are two-floors of decorations at House of Holiday run by Larry Gurino.

He said that 95 percent of the merchandise he sells is made in China. "The quality is tremendously better than 20 years ago," he said. "We would get some artificial trees from some factories, and some were terrible, and some were great. Now it seems like most of them are doing a much better job."

Almost all Christmas decorations made in China come from the small town of Yiwu in Zhejiang province, just west of Shanghai. Manufacturers there produce 60 percent of the world's Christmas products. Virtually any decoration for the holiday - from lights to put on trees, handmade glass balls, dancing angels with blonde hair to nutcrackers and Christmas stockings - is available.

Christmas is not an official holiday in China, and many workers are not sure what Christmas is. But more than 600 factories and workshops in the Yiwu area yield $3 billion worth of Christmas merchandise from September 2016 until this August. The peak time for making Christmas ornaments is summer, and they are shipped around the world to retailers.

US importers such as Kurt Adler Inc in New York City put each year's new products in their showrooms all over the US, and from there, retailers like Gurino build their store collections.

Gao Yuxiao contributed to this story.

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