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Top 5 Christmas Businesses That Made 2013 Special

With the Christmas season behind us, and the new year here, it's time to look at the coolest businesses that helped make the holidays magical this year. Take note because these businesses made for a successful 2013 holiday season, and might just help make it a little more merry and bright when it rolls around again in 2014. And what better time to think about Christmas businesses than now - as we cross the threshold into the no longer appropriate to have a tree up, or lights on -  territory. 

#1 Holiday Business of 2013 - Baby Toy Rental

Toy TrunkToy Trunk

 I was reminded of this innovative business for baby toys when a friend doing Christmas shopping for his toddler daughter wondered how many toys she'd be tired of by the new year. He quipped that so much of hey toy box is already filled with items that she never touches anymore. And, stated that a toy rental service would come particularly handy around gift-giving seasons when children get an over abundance of things to play with.

As I followed the discussion by parents who were excited over such a business concept, I failed to recall writing about Baby Plays a few years back - a business that I called "the Netflix of children's toys". Now, it seems as though there are a number of different businesses that recognize the need in the market. But, Baby Plays is still an industry veteran and a prime illustration of how this business model can be successful. Or at least, that was the case at one point in time. These days they have moved away from the baby toy rental business, and have started selling gently used toys instead.

Next year, instead of putting trendy toys under the tree that you know your children will grow tired of in the days and weeks that follow, consider renting the items. If your kids prove to love them unrequitedly, then you can purchase each one for them to have as their very own. If they are discarded when another exciting new item comes out, then you simply return the toys and call it a day on the lease.

Baby Plays may not be a leader in toy rental anymore, but there are others that have jumped on the bandwagon, like Toys Trunk or Rent That Toy. Businesses in the toy rental industry may not operate in an identical manner, but they offer the same basic service - leasing toys! 

#2 Holiday Business of 2013 - Plantable Wrapping Paper

Eden's PaperEden's Paper

It's lots of fun to watch children tear through the wrapping paper containing their presents on Christmas morning. Okay, fine, it's also lots of fun to unwrap gifts ourselves, but that doesn't change the fact that we create excess waste. And for many people that guilt starts to creep in once the pleasure of ravaging through the presents has passed. 

But that all changes with Eden's Paper, because it is a company that gives a gift directly back to Mother Nature, which is a contrast to traditional wrapping paper. Of course, traditional wrapping paper takes a toll on our tree population with its production, and then later its disposal is taxing on the environment. Eden's Paper creates biodegradable wrapping that contains vegetable seeds. Just allow some time for growth in your garden, and it's the gift that keeps on giving! Extra presents are pretty cool - making this a fun business concept with environmental value.

#3 Holiday Business of 2013 - Retro Christmas Store

RetroFestiveRetroFestive

So many of the cool things that we associate with Christmas come from a time since past. RestroFestive. ca is the online Christmas store that can reconnect you with your favorite seasonal pop culture icons. This is the place to get your very own Charlie Brown Tree, Leg Lamp, or Festivus Pole. The benefit of vising the site at the end of the holiday season is that many of their quirky  retro products are on sale! 

I could say more, but that will only keep you from browsing as soon as possible, and this Christmas business speaks for itself! 

#4 Holiday Businesses of 2013 - Living Christmas Trees

 Living Christmas TreesLiving Christmas Trees

 Right about now, you are probably packing up all the sentimental Christmas decorations and hauling your dead tree to the curb, losing a trail of annoying needles along the way. Traditionally, Christmas trees are cut and mounted in our living rooms with no life left in them. The only goal is to keep your Christmas tree as long as possible without it drying out.  But, it doesn't have to be that way.

Businesses like The Living Christmas Company offer living trees for rent. They're ecologically-friendly, look pretty nice,  and there's delivery and pickup! If living a more eco-friendly lifestyle is your New Year's resolution, then this is a business that you might require for next holiday season.

#5 Holiday Businesses of 2013 - Toymail Special Message Delivery

ToymailToymail

Toymail puts a fun new spin on the archaic art of leaving a voice mail. In a world where text messaging is king, leaving a voice mail really does feel like a lost art.  Toymail is bringing it back in a way that appeals to children, and their products would be particularly handy to have around the holiday season. 

Toymail offers special toys that are connected to a phone app that is designed for a Smart Phone. A parent (or whomever) can record a voice message that will then be read out loud by a toy. The design then allows the child to respond directly to the message. This falls under the Christmas business umbrella simply because toys plus messages from loved ones equal integral parts of a holiday celebration. Family members that can't be together can still use Toymail to connect with the important rug-rats in their lives, using a method that is actually appealing to them. 

Are there any other cool Christmas businesses you'd suggest?