Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ornament Review: Countryside Church - Candlelight Services #11 - 2008 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Glitter adds a nice touch; variety in the windows
Cons: Doesn't look like much at first
The Bottom Line:
First glance isn't much
Look deeper than your first glance
A good church

Countryside Church is a Surprisingly Good Entry

I must admit when I came to Countryside Church, the eleventh in Hallmark Candlelight Services series, my first impression was that it was just another entry in the series.  But the more I've been looking at it, the more I like it.

For one thing, this church is more of a square than the rectangle that most of the ornaments in the series have been.  It's mad up of two wings with a front door off one of the wings.  It's a different look, and that makes it stand out from the rest.  There is a bit of a porch around the front door area.

The plastic is made to look like white wooden clapboards for the walls of the church.  The roof looks like little red tiles.  There's a belfry with a bell located in the top all ready to ring if it were real.  There is a cross on the church, but it is attached to the side of an attic and not on the top of the belfry.  And the evergreen tree on the outside is a bit taller and narrower than on the last few churches.  There's a little sign out front with the year the ornament was released, 2008.

This ornament also includes glitter, only the second time that has shown up in the series.  Glitter can be hit or miss.  Sometimes I'm not sure it adds anything to the ornament, and I get very frustrated when it gets all over everything, including my hands.  While the glitter does seem to be a little loose on this ornament, I really think it adds something.  Most of the time, the snow on the roof of the churches and the base of the ornament seems fake to me.  The glitter helps give the snow texture here, making it seem much more real.  Heck, you can barely see where the artist put her initials in the snow because of this texture.  I'm willing to put up with some all over creation for this result.

The windows in this church are two different color schemes.  Both have yellow at the center.  The four big windows have orange around the outside, while the three smaller windows have a green border.  I like the variety for something different as well.  The two windows on the left side don't glow quite as well as the others because they are a ways away from the opening for the Christmas tree light, but the rest look great when lit.

There is a brass ring for hanging this ornament, but it's rather hard to find.  It's hiding in the valley from various parts of the roof.  As a result, you have to put the hook in at just the right angle to get it in the loop.  The ornament hangs perfectly straight, however.

Of course, trying to get the hook into the loop isn't an issue if you decide to display these on a shelf or mantle or other flat surface.  The bottom of the ornament is rather large and flat, making them a perfect candidate for doing just that.  And the bottom is where you'll find the copyright information and the 11 in the Christmas tree symbol that Hallmark uses to identify their series ornaments.

After just a few seconds of looking at it, the Countryside Church went from being an okay ornament to a great ornament.  If you like this series, this is one you'll definitely want to add to your collection.

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

Original Price: $20.00

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