Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ornament Review: German - Doorways Around the World #1 - 2007 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Rich in detail, fun to look at
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Lots of details of
Christmas in another place
Amazing to see

Fröhliche Weihnachten from Germany, the First Stop on the Doorways Around the World Tour

Some of the Hallmark Christmas ornaments are more works of art than true ornaments.  That's the case with the Doorways Around the World series, and the first entry, Germany, is the perfect example.

Each ornament in the series is supposed to show decorations from that year's country.  Germany is actually a good place to start because it is fairly familiar territory for us in America.

The ornament is divided at the one third mark.  The first third is set outside.  Here, you'll find a little bit of snow and two snow boots on the front step.  There's also a bit of snow on the roof.  Big flakes of glitter in the snow help catch the light.  The only other thing of note is a lantern above the front door.

When you turn the ornament around, you'll find there is actually quite a bit going on inside this house.  For starters, there's an evergreen tree decorated in the traditional German way, with wax candles and glass ornaments.  Okay, so they are really plastic like the rest of the ornament, but that is what they are supposed to represent.  Next to the tree is a table with an advent wreath filled with lit candles and the traditional German sweet stolen bread.  Behind the table is a little nutcracker.  It's very traditional looking, although there is no handle in the back to actually make it work.  Finally, on the floor in front of the table is the sheet music for the German carol "Stille Nacht" which we know better as "Silent Night."

Despite the fact that the ornament is only a little over three inches long, the detail here is pretty incredible.  You can see the dusting of flour on top of the bread and read the notes on the sheet music.  It really is a work of art.

I mentioned before that this ornament is made from plastic.  That means despite the size, it is surprisingly lightweight.  The flat base has the series and copyright information on it, and you can set this out to display on a table or mantle if you want.  Of you can use the brass hook to hang the ornament on your tree.  When it's hanging, it does tip slightly to one corner.  But we're talking very slight.  If you aren't looking for it, you'll never notice.

The back of the box does talk about what you are seeing in the ornament, although in this case, I could figure most of it out by myself.  I love the chance to put a little bit of another culture in my Christmas decorating, however.

Doorways Around the World hasn't turned out to be a popular series for Hallmark, and I can't figure out why.  As Germany shows, it's a great series with great potential to really educate in a fun way.

Continue your tour by seeing the rest of the Doorways Around the World series.

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