Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ornament Review: Old Stone Church - Candlelight Services #9 - 2006 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Design attempts to change things up
Cons: Biggest windows at the back of the church
The Bottom Line:
I'm torn on this one
The design is different
But too much in back

Attempts to Shake Things Up Don't Quite Work with the Old Stone Church

The last few ornaments in the Candlelight Services series of Hallmark ornaments have been pretty similar in overall design.  The church has been rectangular and designed to be looked at head on or at a slight angle to one side.  Old Stone Church, the ninth in the series, attempts to change things up some.  It's a noble effort that doesn't quite work out.

The church still has a rectangular base.  In fact, it bears some superficial similarities to the previous entry in the series, Central Tower Church.  There is a tower on one end of the church with an obvious belfry.  This tower also has a door in it that probably leads into the church.  The main entrance is on the side, however.  There's an extension out the side that includes this door with a cross over it.  There's a sign out front that includes the year the ornament was released, 2006.  Just to the left of this extension is a Christmas tree with bits of snow on it.  As usual, the ornament is sitting on a white base that looks like snow.  In fact, you can see imprints from footprints leading into both doors on the church.  And there is snow clinging to bits of the roof.

If it were just a matter of hanging this ornament on the tree, I'd say it was a great change from the others in the series.  However, the whole point of this series, at least for me, is to hook the back of the ornament into a string of Christmas tree lights and see the slight shine through the windows.  And here is where the ornament fails.  I am sure the door with the sign in front of it is supposed to be the front door.  There are five tiny windows on that side.  You can see the light coming through them, but it doesn't really stand out.  Likewise, the two tiny windows in the tower don't produce much light.  But if you turn it around backward, you'll find much larger windows that light up very nicely.  So now what do you do with this ornament?  Do you orient it so you can see the nice detail out front or turn it backward so you can see the cool windows?

What makes it more ironic is that this is the year the ornaments in the series increased $1.05 in price to $20 each.  I don't have a problem with the price increase after 8 years of it staying the same.  I just find it funny that it happened on one of the weaker entries in the second half.

The ornament sits on a wide, white base that makes it perfect for displaying somewhere other than a tree if you so desire.  On the bottom, you'll find the little 9 in a Christmas tree that Hallmark puts on all their series ornaments.  And just under the hole for the light, you'll find the artist's initials carved in the snow.  There is a brass hook you can use to hang the ornament on your Christmas tree, and it ornament hangs perfectly straight if you want to go with that option.

I would like to like Old Stone Church better than I do.  But with the best windows hiding in the back of the church, it loses some of its appeal.

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

Original Price: $20.00

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