Tag Archives: Christmas ornaments

My Hallmark Obsession

My collection of Hallmark Mary's Angels ornaments.

My collection of Hallmark Mary’s Angels ornaments.

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!

The Mary's Angel tree that I have in my dining room every Christmas.  I think I'm going to need a bigger tree next year!

The Mary’s Angel tree that I have in my dining room every Christmas. I think I’m going to need a bigger tree next year!

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.

Zinnia - 29th in the Mary's Angels series...

Zinnia – 29th in the Mary’s Angels series…

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…


A Quick Stop at the Thrift Store…

Grab bag of ornaments from New Mexico - plus one Hallmark ornament from the thrift store!

Grab bag of ornaments from New Mexico – plus one Hallmark ornament from the thrift store!

Just like the title of this post…every time I make a “quick” stop at a thrift store, I always come away with some fabulous finds!

My baby sister, Kanista, is to blame for my obsession with thrift store shopping.  She lives in North Carolina and has a Saturday routine of breakfast and then waiting at her favorite thrift store for the doors to open.  I went with her a few years ago and saw very quickly that she had a definite system for going through the racks of clothes and the shelves of tchotchkes.  We left that store with two large bags of great finds!  I was officially OBSESSED!

Back in Alabama, I developed my own “system” when stopping by certain thrift stores that I now frequent.  A few of my favorites include the Salvation Army stores – both in Hoover and on Green Springs highway, Lovelady Thrift and 55th Place in Woodlawn.  Alabama Thrift in Alabaster is another good one but I don’t get out there as often.

This past Saturday though, I decided to make the trip to Alabaster and see what I could find.  I was running errands in the area so I allotted about 30 minutes before I needed to get back to Hoover.  First I started through the knickknacks.  They had SO much Christmas stuff out already and Christmas music was blaring through the store.  Honestly, I was a little annoyed and not quite wanting to hear Christmas music yet.  I walked through the dishes and platters and low and behold, I found a Mexican pottery dish in green and bright yellow!  Beautiful!  And it was sectioned like a lazy susan.  I turned it over and the price was $3.99.  Score!

Mexican pottery piece found at Alabama Thrift store for $3.99!

Mexican pottery piece found at Alabama Thrift store for $3.99!

I next went through the clothes and found an Anne Klein pea-coat for $4.99 and an Eileen Fisher Italian yarn pink sweater for $4.99.  Not bad!  I was running out of time so I went through the knickknacks one more time and as I was rounding one of the aisles saw a bunch of “grab bag” Christmas items.  Now, these grab bags don’t generally get my attention.  Usually they are “like” items bunched together for a quick sale.  But one of the bags got my attention…

I saw a round clay ornament with the words – New Mexico – on it.  I picked up the bag and noticed several other clay ornaments – a kokopelli, a lizard, prairie dog, mission church and two tepees.  There was also a 1997 Hallmark ornament – a mouse in a Mexican sombrero!  Now, I have collected Hallmark ornaments since they first came out in the 1970s so this was right up my alley!  The price tag for all of these items… $2.99!!!  Cannot WAIT to add these to my Mexican Christmas tree this year!  They are going to be perfect!  (Stay tuned to a future post!)

Hallmark "Feliz Navidad" ornament from 1997 - part of the grab bag items.

Hallmark “Feliz Navidad” ornament from 1997 – part of the grab bag items.

So I walked away from Alabama Thrift with all these items just under $20!  I DO love a bargain!!!

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