Love It or Hate It, Tinsel Thrives at Cheap-O Xmas

Sole US manufacturer of 'icicles' says sales up 40%
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2009 4:56 PM CST
Love It or Hate It, Tinsel Thrives at Cheap-O Xmas
Lana Turner models tinsel in the 1950s.   (Getty Images)

Decorating Christmas trees with tinsel is a divisive practice, but one thing proponents and detractors can agree on is its economy, a factor that appears to be the deciding one in this holiday season of scarcity. At the only major US maker of the shiny plastic strips, sales are up 40% over last year. “The icicle has hung in there,” a third-generation tinsel maker tells the Wall Street Journal.

A thousand strings of tinsel run just $2, a nice price that can be stretched out over years by meticulous decorators with a penchant for hoarding. There are some downsides—vets caution that cats love tinsel, which is terrible for their insides. And it’s “not very environmental,” says a man who tried, unsuccessfully, to apply it to an underwater Xmas tree. Adds another proponent: “I don't know why I bother with ornaments...or why I have 10-cent tinsel hiding Waterford.” (More Christmas shopping stories.)

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