These are among the area shops offering theme tree ornaments and services. Inspiration can also be found in craft shops, specialty boutiques and catalogs.
*Bloomingdale's, White Flint Mall, North Bethesda. This year's themes, tailored for the region, include "heavenly hosts" (angels), "royal court" (jewel tones and Renaissance-inspired ornaments), "German glass," "animal menagerie," "holly jolly Santa," " '50s Mickey Mouse," "Crystal Palace" (delicate blown-glass miniatures), "ivory Baroque" (a variety of luxurious white and gold ornaments), "star magic" and "opalescent visions" (iridescent and reflective spheres, pendants and icicles). Most of these ornaments are exclusive to Bloomingdale's.
*Christmas Company, 8289 Main St., Ellicott City, 461-2470: At this shop, where it's Christmas all year round, themes include a Victorian treewith lace and flower-trimmed ornaments, angels, tapestry ornaments and nosegays, and a nautical tree with sailboats, crabs and other sea creatures, tugboats, and semaphore flags spelling out "Merry Christmas." A large assortment of Old World glass ornaments from Germany, Italy, Poland and Czechoslovakia is also available, as are table-top size artificial trees.
*Frank's Nursery and Crafts, 7928 Eastern Ave., 284-1202: Frank's sells individual ornaments separately, and will sell the completely decorated trees off the floor right before Christmas. Among the theme trees are a musical tree with a set of bells that play carols, as well as ornaments in the shape of bells, music books and instruments; "holiday masquerade," with Victorian glass balls and ornaments in the shape of jesters, ballet shoes and masks; a tree with silver and lace ornaments; and a Victorian tree decorated in cranberry and mauve. There are a number of Frank's stores in the Baltimore area; most should have the trees listed above, but stock may vary somewhat from location to location.
*Ornament House, Harborplace, 547-8686: No theme trees are on display at Ornament House, but a wide variety of trimmings can be purchased, and staffers can help with theme ideas.
*Russ Country Gardens and Gifts, 4211 Ridge Road, Taylorsville, (301) 875-2385: Both ornaments and artificial trees are available, and themes include "Santa," "musical," "Old World" (old-fashioned ornaments from Germany), "fox hunt," "country," "toys and tops," "mauve Victorian," and a tree trimmed entirely in red metal ornaments.
*Silk Greenhouse, 730 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, 321-7459: Theme trees for this season include a red and gold musical tree, "children at play" (toys and teddy bears), a crystal tree, a Renaissance tree (velvet ornaments, old-fashioned angels, jesters, etc.), "English garden" and a silver-and-white tree decorated with harlequins that is "getting oohs and aahs and walking right out of the store." Staff members can give advice on tree-trimming, and can provide design services in the store or on site. There are also Silk Greenhouses in Owings Mills, Pasadena, Laurel and Rockville.
*Stebbins Anderson, 802 Kenilworth Drive, Towson, 823-6600: This year's themes include: "Toyland," "Disney," "romance," "woodland," "garnet and old lace," "crystal," "dogs and cats," "baby's first Christmas," "Silent Night" (blue ornaments), "Victorian," "nautical," "carousel animals" and "musical."
*Stover's Hearth and Patio, 6905 Baltimore National Pike, Frederick, (301) 473-7970: Both traditional and innovative themes are found here, including "magic Christmas," "birds," an all-white tree with pearls, iridescent and crystal ornaments and doves, "French country cottage," an all-mauve tree, "fox hunt," and a tree trimmed with gold angels.
*Valley View Farms, 11035 York Road, Cockeysville, 527-0700. About 200 theme trees are on display. Some are themed by color, others by motif; the bird tree, woodland animals tree and Santa Claus tree are among the crowd-pleasers. A list of ornaments is provided for each tree, to make purchasing easy.
*Watson's Garden Center, 1620 York Road, 321-7300: Watson's Christmas shop includes these theme trees: "teddy bears," "down-home" (inspired by the Pacific Northwest), Victorian trees in pink, mauve and burgundy, "stars and stripes," "Santa Claus," "musical," "White Christmas," "fox hunt," and a nautical "Christmas in Maryland." One notable tree this year is a bridal tree.