I blame my mother… She worked at a Hallmark shop when I was in high school in the 70s and got our family started on Hallmark ornaments. I still have the original yarn ornaments that used to hang on our tree! Years later, mom managed Hallmark stores and so access to these cute and sometimes whimsical ornaments grew. The ornaments started to change too. Aside from Snoopy and others, they became more elaborate and even expanded to current movie characters. The number of ornaments offered each year also grew. In fact, July became the month when Hallmark would unveil their Ornament Book and put up displays in their stores!
I’ve been collecting Hallmark ornaments for over 40 years now. Our family tree is nothing but Hallmark and each year when we gather together to decorate the fun begins. My kids will recall an ornament and a story behind that particular one. They laugh and tease each other remembering something about when we bought that one or how special it was or silly. The stories are endless and I love hearing them! We joke about my husband and how he always manages to drop one or break one – thank goodness for super glue! We have so many ornaments in our collection now that I would need two more trees to accommodate them all! When my kids and my husband think we are finished, I’m keep adding more to the tree. They give up, but I’m determined to pack it as full as I can!
I have several favorites on the tree each year, but probably my all time favorite series is Mary Hamilton’s – Mary’s Angels. A few years back I decided to put these angel ornaments on a separate tree in my dining room. They are small and delicate looking angel children and they are adorable. This year is the 29th year for the Mary’s Angel series. The angels are all named for flowers and their outfits are based on the floral color. This year’s angel is called Zinnia and her design pays homage to vintage china dolls. Robert Chad is the Hallmark artist responsible for bringing all of Mary’s Angels to life. They are incredible works of art in my opinion and I love that they have a special place in my dining room each year.
I think I have almost all 29 of the angels in the series. Last year they issued a special “Magic” ornament. These are the ones that have sound and/or light. In this case, there are two angels holding lanterns that light up and the song that plays is “This Little Light of Mine.”
My home is all decorated for Christmas as I write this. The only thing left to do is to gather the family on Sunday and add the Hallmark ornaments to the tree and share stories. I am looking forward to that…