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'Pink isn't just a color. It's a statement.' Pinkmas is Christmas revamped

Pink Christmas trees figure prominently at pop-up bar "A Pink Wonderland" in Chicago.
Pink Christmas trees figure prominently at pop-up bar "A Pink Wonderland" in Chicago.

White Christmas is out. Pink Christmas is in.

In the year of the blockbuster "Barbie" movie and dire warnings about climate change, it makes perfect sense Americans would give up on snow-frosted green trees and embrace a color not usually associated with the December holiday season: pink.

A 'Pinkmas' Christmas

Pink Christmas – or "Pinkmas" as fashion and entertainment trendsetters are calling it – has taken off, according to retailers. A trend that gained steam during the pandemic is going mainstream, embraced by celebrities, social media influencers and entrepreneurs. Pink Christmas trees are the emblem, but the trend extends to everything holiday-themed: ornaments, decorations, sweaters and socks, wreaths and wine glasses.

Paris Hilton, the model and pop culture icon, posed with not one but three artificial pink Christmas trees – salmon-colored fronds glowing with an otherworldly light – in an Instagram post last month announcing the birth of her daughter.

"Celebrating our baby girl London with a pink Christmas!" Hilton said in the post.

Other influencers on social media are promoting Pinkmas, too.

A pink sofa and pink Christmas tree.
A pink sofa and pink Christmas tree.

Lumy Perdomo of Lumy's Glam Home Decor began posting pink Christmas decor on her Instagram account in 2020 and has a pink-themed tree up this year, too, sharing the trend with her 208,000 followers. Jennifer Hayslip of Charleston, South Carolina's Eye Candy Creations posted her own pink tree on Instagram with the tagline, "Deck the halls with lots of Pinkmas!" for her nearly 30,000 followers.

"My flocked powder puff tree is making her first year grand debut," she wrote in the post. "She's delicate, feminine and fancy!"

Country Living magazine recently published a list of "20 Pink Christmas Trees for a Barbie-Approved Winter" with the tagline: "You know you want one."

The Barbie movie grossed over $1 billion and boosted sales of all things Barbie and Barbie-related, including the color pink. And that goes for sales of pink holiday decor, too.

Pinkmas: Christmas through rose-colored glasses

Buying Christmas decorations is high on shoppers' lists. The National Retail Federation, the shopping industry trade organization, doesn't have any specific data about "Pink Christmas" trends. But in its annual holiday shopping survey, the federation forecast consumers were budgeting $255 of the $875 they planned to spend on Christmas for buying seasonal items like decorations, candy or food.

Retailers are ready.

Target, Walmart, Wayfair and HomeGoods have selections of pink trees in shades ranging from carnation to bubblegum to "blush and bashful" – those delicate pinks made famous decades ago by Julia Roberts' character in the 1989 movie "Steel Magnolias."

Wayfair is "seeing an increase in popularity for pink Christmas trees with sales for our top 20 bestselling pink Christmas trees more than double this year compared to last year," said spokeswoman Susan Frechette.

Pink christmas tree and christmas decorations white and gold color in white interior.
Pink christmas tree and christmas decorations white and gold color in white interior.

The retailer has also added a "perfectly pink" filter on its generative AI-powered room styler Decorify – as pink is a major trend this year, she said. Customers can upload pictures of their rooms and see them reimagined in pink, complete with product links, Frechette said.

At HomeGoods, the retailer is looking for "the best décor and gifts that are on trend and at a great price, including both classic holiday colors and styles like 'Pinkmas,'" said Vanessa Crooks, assistant vice president.

But the pink Christmas trees being sold by various retailers are not "Barbie pink" unless they're sanctioned by the doll's creator, Mattel. The company has trademarked Pantone shade PMS 219-c, a color described by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in a story on "Barbie pink" as "a vibrant magenta, bright like radioactive fruit punch."

For decades, different holidays have had their corner on colors. Christmas has red and green, Hanukkah has blue and gold, and Kwanzaa celebrates in red, green, orange and black.

Pink was a pariah.

Not anymore: The hashtag #pinkChristmas has more than 478 million views on TikTok and has been tagged 244,000 times on Instagram.

"Pink isn't just a color; it's a statement," said William Martinez, co-founder of the pop-up bar A Pink Wonderland, which opened this month in New York and Chicago. "It's the embodiment of celebration. It symbolizes breaking free from conventions and embracing the joy of the unexpected."

A Pink Wonderland pop-up bar in Chicago is capitalizing on the "Pinkmas" trend with pink holiday decor and rose-colored cocktails.
A Pink Wonderland pop-up bar in Chicago is capitalizing on the "Pinkmas" trend with pink holiday decor and rose-colored cocktails.

The pop-up bars are decorated floor to ceiling in pink and offer a menu of pastel cocktails with names like "Rosie's Pink Nose" and "Mistletoe Mischief," according to their Instagram pages.

More: Is this Barbie’s dream house? No, it’s Utah. See one neighborhood’s pink Halloween tableau

'A pop culture change'

It's not clear exactly when pink Christmas trees took off, but the trend began snowballing during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Irma Peñuñuri, director of public relations agency BurgerRock Media, which represents the Pink Wonderland pop-ups.

With the world turned upside down by a deadly virus, consumers stuck at home took once-controversial risks with their holiday decorations, she said – putting the Christmas tree up right after Halloween or decking their halls in pink.

"Christmas is traditionally every color but pink," she said. "It is a pop culture change about how people see holidays and how they see the world."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pinkmas decor: Rose-colored trees for a Barbie-approved Christmas