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Christmas news

Old Czechoslovak decorations a hit in Britain


photo: Jana Liptáková

TRADITIONAL hand-made glass Czechoslovak Christmas decorations from the 1950s became a hit in top antique shops in Great Britain this year, the TASR news agency wrote.

According to the How to Spend It magazine of The Financial Times, Czech and Polish decorations from the 1940s and 1950s are selling very well.

Almost one hundred year old Czech Christmas baubles are being sold in London antique store Guinevere.

Many of the old Czechoslovak firms that used to export the baubles are still operating and they still produce handmade glass decorations.

Today's handmade and therefore expensive Christmas decorations face tough competition from machine-made products. China, Egypt and Romania supply the market with baubles made with moulds and they are less decorated. Czech company DUV Vánoční ozdoby, for example, used to have 12 production facilities, but now it is only five.

N-Plus in Hriňová is one of the largest producers of glass baubles and decorations in Slovakia. It has operated on the market for 10 years. "Slovak producers of traditional glass Christmas decorations are being pushed out of the European markets by cheap break-resistant baubles from China," Anna Muráňová, a manager of N-Plus, told the TASR news agency.

N-Plus exports 95 percent of its production to its long-term German partner in Coburg. "Germans really value the hand-painted decorations," Muráňová added.


Christmas shopping fever becomes almost a tradition


NEARLY 21 percent of Slovaks buy Christmas gifts at the last moment, according to a survey from the Gfk agency. The figure comes as no surprise, since crowded shopping centres and stores have become almost a tradition in Slovakia.

However, a significant number of Slovaks - 30.3 percent - starts to buy Christmas gifts two weeks before Christmas.

The "quick pace of living" and full working days are the reasons why so many Slovaks buy Christmas presents at the last moment. More than 25 percent of respondents prefer to choose their presents carefully and that is why they try to buy their presents well in advance.


What to buy and how much to spend?


ALTHOUGH Christmas is considered to be the most beautiful holiday in the year, as well as a time of peace and love, four out of five Slovaks see Christmas as financially demanding.

The amount of money Slovaks spend on Christmas and what they would like to receive as Christmas presents are revealed in polls conducted by the Gfk and TNS SK agencies.

Slovaks would like to spend Sk4,000 (€103) on average on Christmas presents in 2005. That is Sk400 (€10.3) less than in 2004. The polls show that men and women are equally generous when it comes to giving Christmas presents and plan to spend the same sum of money.

The most popular Christmas presents people would by for those closest to them are clothes (30 percent), cosmetics (21.5 percent) and toys (25 percent). A book is also a favourite gift, with 23 percent of women and 12.5 percent of men wanting to treat their friends or relatives to one.

About one-third of respondents said they would like to receive clothes as a Christmas present and about 20 percent would welcome perfume.

Young people (under 29) would like to get a CD, DVD, video or audio cassette. Women would love to get luxurious cosmetics, shoes and leather fashion products. Men would not mind getting tools, cameras, computers and computer games.


Compiled by Marta Ďurianová
from press reports

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