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A return to simpler times seems to be the Christmas decorating theme folks are after, and birds are front and center. (NANCY BEAN FOSTER PHOTO)

Birds are flying off decorating store shelves for Christmas trees

For folks who give a hoot about decorating for the holidays, Christmas this year is for the birds.

While there's always room for glitter and glitz at Christmastime, said Betsy Deasy, owner of Woodman's Florist in Milford, the trend this year is back to nature, and birds - especially owls - are the stars of the show.

"Owls are very popular this year," said Deasy. "Everyone wants them."

At Woodman's, small snowy owls peer out from trees and wreaths, their big eyes creating a focal point and giving a little life to the decor. Feathers, eggs, even little nests and bird houses are combined with treasures that could be found in the back yard: pine cones, berries and dried flowers.

Nature has taken over at the Grenon Trading Co. in Bedford as well, and owls and birds are everywhere. Moss, twigs, bark, birdhouses and natural fabrics are blended to create soothing, fuss-free vignettes, illuminated only with some white fairy lights and a little dusting of glitter.

"I think people want to go back to nature this year," said designer Mary O'Connell. "It's time for something simple."

Birch, burlap and birds are the big sellers, said owner Joanne Grenon. There are even little birds and owls made of burlap.

"We can't keep burlap ribbon in the shop," she said. "People are buying it faster than we can get it in."

And Grenon said she's sold 800 tiny glass bird ornaments already this season, and people are plucking them right off the trees.

Ice is another big favorite this year and glistening white trees dancing with delicate glass icicles and platinum ornaments create a winter wonderland.

Platinum is the new silver, said Grenon, and copper is the new gold.

"We're not seeing much gold at all this year, but copper is huge, especially with younger people," she said.

But it seems no matter what the color scheme, owls and birds are finding their way into every tree and wreath. On the top of a massive tree at the front of Grenon's store, a pair of large brown owls gaze down on the shoppers as they come and go.

"Those owls are just flying out of here," said Grenon. "As soon as they come in, they're gone."


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