John Lewis charts Christmas decorating trends

This week is when most UK households are expected to shop for Christmas trees and decorations, according to John Lewis & Partners.

Research from the department store group published yesterday (Monday, December 2) reveals that in December 2009 – when George Michael had a hit with ‘December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas)’ and Avatar became the most successful film of all time – the UK had much less sophisticated tastes in Christmas decorations than today.

Dan Cooper, head Christmas buyer at John Lewis said; “In 2009, we typically thought a thin bit of red or gold tinsel mixed with some round baubles and a few lights attached to a heavy adapter meant we were ready for Christmas. But 10 years, our tastes have become so much more adventurous.

“Artificial trees have grown in quality and popularity, and become several feet taller. Ten years ago 4ft trees dominated the range sold by John Lewis but today 7ft trees are our most popular with 9ft trees growing in popularity.

“UK households are now more likely to decorate their Christmas tree in sophisticated colours of white, blush, green or copper than bold colours such as red or gold which were the favourite colours ten years ago.

“Upside down trees which were popular in 2009 are no longer sold by John Lewis. Instead pre-lit trees are on-trend and this year, for the first time, they have overtaken un-lit trees. To complete the sophisticated look, trees are now likely to have their roots covered by a tree skirt and draped in thick tinsel, which has had a resurgence that peaked in 2018, or decorated with a statement piece such as a large owl to create the perfect Instagrammable tree.

“One of the biggest changes in trends has been in Christmas baubles. In 2009 most of us bought traditional round baubles and there were very few individual ones. John Lewis sold Santas, butterflies and angels. Today, we have over 400 different types of bauble and our best sellers are not traditional Christmas baubles but birds, foxes and dinosaurs as we have embraced the idea of making our trees individual to us with statement baubles.

“These changes have been driven by a growing culture of entertaining, Instagram – and innovation in Christmas decorations, which have become much higher in quality and therefore last much longer, making us more likely to invest in them.”

Trend/product 2009  2019
Most popular colours to decorate with Red








Artificial Christmas Trees 4ft trees were the most popular 7ft are now the most popular
Pre-lit Christmas Trees John Lewis stocked one pre-lit tree made with incandescent bulbs John Lewis stocks 40 pre-lit trees all made with LED bulbs
Lights A light set designed for a 6ft tree had 160 incandescent bulbs All bulbs are LED and a set designed for a 6ft tree has 480 bulbs
Tinsel John Lewis only stocked tinsel in red, gold and silver Eight types of tinsel are stocked with the most popular being iridescent white and rainbow. In 2018 John Lewis sold 24 types of tinsel.
Baubles Less than 200 types of individual bauble were stocked by John Lewis 400 types of individual bauble are stocked by John Lewis
Tree toppers Four tree toppers were stocked by John Lewis 12 tree toppers are stocked by John Lewis –  a third of them are angels
Nativity sets John Lewis stocked one John Lewis stocks eight sets including designer ones
Advent calendars John Lewis stocked six advent calendars: two were ‘fill your own’ and two were picture calendars John Lewis stocks over 100 different advent calendars – from gin to tea and charity calendars – as well as ‘fill your own’

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