As an adult, have you ever felt like a little child infatuated with Hallmark-themed Christmas trees?
Do you know there are Hallmark collectors who buy, sell, or trade their Christmas ornaments?
Welcome to a bit of Hallmark World
Not really sure what I had gotten myself into last December, I agreed to take a group photo of Savannah, Tennessee’s Hallmark collectors’ club, S. Claus & Company. The photo session a success, and it was my first time to play dirty Santa. What an enjoyable evening sharing a meal, having fun, and sitting among Hallmark-themed Christmas trees scattered throughout the hostess home.
The majority of women present was definitely passionate about Hallmark ornament collecting but not quite so for this photographer. However, each club member made me feel at home, welcomed me into their Hallmark world, and allowed me free range for Christmas tree photography. I felt privileged to have been asked to participate in this informative and entertaining evening.
Wizard of Oz Theme
Now a year later and at my request, friend and Hallmark collector, Karen Jones agreed to write the following:
Little did I know back in 1984 when some coworkers invited me to take a break with them and walk to the local Hallmark store that I would eventually become a collector of Hallmark Christmas ornaments. Recently married, I justified the purchase of a couple of ornaments because we needed ornaments for our Christmas tree. One of the ornaments I was drawn to was the Victorian Dollhouse.
This two-story pink dollhouse with cream trim and green roof was number one in a new Hallmark Christmas ornament series, but series didn’t mean anything to me at that time. Since then artists Donna Lee and Don Palmiter have created a collection of 29 Nostalgic Houses and Shops including a toy shop, candy shop, fire station, bank, grocery store, House on Main Street, among other things, each with their intricate details.
Author Mary Sieber said it well in her book, Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: “For nearly  years, Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments – produced by Hallmark Cards, Inc., of Kansas City, Missouri – have transformed Christmas trees everywhere into 3-D scrapbooks of memories that capture and preserve times, events, and special occasions. When the first 18 ornaments were introduced in 1973, Christmas tree decorations went from simple colored glass balls to creative and fun designs. No longer were ornaments just pretty decorations for the tree. Suddenly they became unique, year-dated and available only for a limited time, making them an instant hit with collectors.”
After collecting ornaments for almost 23 years, I was introduced to a Hallmark ornament collectors’ club, S. Claus & Company. S. Claus & Company is a local club organized in 1993 and is recognized by Hallmark Cards, Inc. Our group of 19 meets five times a year in Savannah, Tennessee. Besides food and fellowship, we share our mutual interest of ornaments and their artists, and are always ready to give decorating hints.
Over the years my interest has grown from the Nostalgic Houses and Shops to many other varieties of ornaments and series that one day I hope to pass along to my daughter and her children. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year; and as a fellow collector says, “Pulling out Christmas ornaments is like seeing an old friend.”Have I acquired Karen’s passion for collecting Hallmark Keepsake Christmas Ornaments since my year ago introduction?
Have I relinquished and bought my first Hallmark ornament in a series?
Am I hooked?
The answer remains unknown.
However, I’ve agreed to again take this year’s December group photograph for S. Claus & Company and also to attend their January meeting.
“You gotta see this house, Cheryl. Her trees are up through January.”
Photographing Christmas trees and lights can be most challenging, but it looks like more practice is just around the corner.
Karen, thank you for introducing me to the world of Hallmark ornaments and for guest blogging.