Monday, May 27, 2013

Ornament Review: Colonial Church 1 - Candlelight Services #2 - 1999 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Neat ornament with great lighting effect
Cons: Doesn't look like a Colonial Church to me
The Bottom Line:
Setting aside my
Weird hang up about the name
Ornament is great

About the Only Thing I Don't Like About the First Colonial Church is the Name

At times I can get very hung up on a name.  That's the case here.  No, I'm not looking for something to criticize.  I just think that the second in Hallmark's Candlelight Services ornament series doesn't look like a Colonial Church.  But that's what they called it.  I love the rest of the details about the ornament, however.

They actually released two ornaments in their Candlelight Services series called Colonial Church.  This is the first one and was released in 1999.  It depicts what would easily be a small, one room church building.  The walls are made out of wood planks and the roof is made out of shingles.  Okay, so really the entire ornament is made out of plastic, but the sculpture is realistic enough that it looks like those elements are present to me.  The church sits on a large base of white plastic to represent snow.  And I'd say snow has fallen fairly recently judging by the footprints leading up to the front door.  Yet only a little bit of snow is hanging on to the edge of the roof.

The snow provides a nice base for the church, giving it a nice, wide stand.  If you decide to display it in a cabinet or bookcase, it will sit perfectly flat.  The base also holds the copyright information (the only place you'll find 1999 on the ornament) and Hallmark's mark showing that it is the second in a series.  If you look in the back, you'll see that artist Ed Seale again signed the piece by putting his initials in the snow.

The little brass hook to hang the ornament sits on the peak of the roof.  If you just hang it from the tree, you'll see that it hangs perfectly straight.

Of course, the real reason to get this series is the "magic" effect, as Hallmark calls it.  There is a hole in the back of the church that you can use to insert a standard Christmas tree light.  When you do, you'll find that five of the windows glow green and blue, two on each side and one over the door.  It's a pretty shade and really looks nice.  While it looks like there is a window in the steeple on top of the church, no light makes it up there for them to glow.  And while you can use the modern energy efficient lights, they don't provide enough light to truly make the lights glow well.

So now we're back to my big complaint about the ornament - its name.  And at this point I will demonstrate once and for all my West Coast ignorance.  When I am thinking of a Colonial Church, I'm expecting something a little bigger and grander.  This one looks to me like a small church in a resort town out here in California.  Now if I stop and think about it, I'm sure that many of the churches build during Colonial times probably match the description I just gave.  But it's the connotation that gets me every time.

Since I'm just quibbling over semantics, I really don't care what they call it.  By any name, the first Colonial Church is a great addition to the Candlelight Services series.

Be sure to check out the other ornaments in the Candlelight Services series.

Original Price: $18.95

(Note: Despite the name in the links above, the picture and the year are correct for this ornament.  Someone got it wrong when they created that page at Amazon.)

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