I wanted Ornaments to be charming and quaint, with some fun sight gags and a happy ending. I was also aiming for visual and kinetic realism, with a few hints of stylization here and there. Aside from a few seconds of radio chatter there's no voiceover in the story, which means it can be appreciated by viewers internationally.
The story is split into five sequences: introduction, tree, train, piano, and airplane. The Santa ornament gradually gets in over his head through the first four segments, and finally reaches his goal in the last. Throughout, he uses props as tools to reach what he's after.
The music is half of the story in Ornaments, and I spent a lot of time selecting well-known classical songs that fit the pace of the action. Before storyboarding each sequence, I chose an appropriate piece of music. I listened to each song over and over, visualizing the action until I was ready to put it down on paper. I gradually edited the action and the music until the two matched up.
At certain points I had to adapt the cinematography to suit the songs, but the overall effect is that the music enhances the action and vice-versa. During editing, I kept the sound effects to a minimum for the sake of the music.
The original script called for some fun action after the Santa ornament reaches the cookies, but I wanted to finish the animation before Christmas so I cut it short. Maybe if I have time some day, I'll finish the story and re-release it as Ornaments 2.0.