“We’re going to get a lot of coal this Christmas,” said Jolly McTinsel.
Photo by Dylan Schmidt
According to focus group data from holiday retail giant Mallhark, consumers have increasingly expressed disillusionment with holiday decor after yet another hottest year on record. As a result, Mallhark and companies like it have been forced to grapple with rapidly changing consumer demands for seasonal decor, as traditional holiday fixtures like paper snowflakes, icicle ornaments, and other winter-themed bric-a-brac have completely fallen out of favor in the past few years.
“It’s just depressing at this point,” said Christy Scroggins, avid ornament collector and columnist for year-round holiday buying guide Christmas Weekly. “These glass ornaments have been in my family for over 50 years, and I remember loving the way the winter light would filter through them as they hung from the tree. Now, all my kids wonder why I keep hanging up glass spikes and white flowers, but I don’t have the heart to tell them what snow was.”
In response to similar sentiments, Mallhark has already begun hiring artists to overhaul next year’s holiday collection. “If we don’t act now, this company is going to go extinct,” said Mallhark CEO Mallory H. Harkwood. “The beauty of previous generations of winter decor was being able to enjoy the aesthetics of the harsh, chilly outside from within the comfort of your own home. We wanted to bring that feeling to a new generation. With our new collection, you’ll be able to experience these new gloomy, squelchy winters from the dryness of your domicile.”
Next year’s collection is set to feature both fresh takes on classic items and completely new designs. All string lights will come in either “gloomy grey” or “slightly rainy ash” colors, and snowglobes will have all their snow removed, soon to be rebranded as waterglobes. In addition, the company has poured millions into developing “artificial winter mud” that’s “just the right mixture of crunchy and slimy,” with the intention of phasing out artificial tree flocking in favor of artificial muddying over the course of the next two holiday seasons.
On the future of the company, Harkwood had this to say: “Our business model relies entirely on appealing to the consumer’s insatiable urge to purchase and own useless and ultimately forgettable items, which can be thrown away and re-purchased next year. This has always been a very fine line to walk, but no matter what, we cannot stop the wheel of manufacturing from turning.” Though the next holiday season is still a long way off, the future for the company is already “looking sunny,” as consumers have expressed their interest in the new holiday items. “Finally we can decorate the house in a way that won’t make my kids feel left out!” said self-described “holiday enthusiast” Jolly McTinsel. “Now I just need to figure out how to answer their questions about Frosty the Snowman…”