Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ornament Review: Decking the Door - Once Upon a Christmas Companion Piece - 2011 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun music and light show
Cons: Ornament itself a little plain for the price
The Bottom Line
Simple ornament
Made fun by music and lights
Justifies expense

Santa's Hanging a Wreath on His Own Door in this Magic Companion Ornament

Does Santa decorate the North Pole for Christmas?  The answer seems to be yes, at least according to Decking The Door, a companion piece to Hallmark's new Once Upon a Christmas ornament series.  This ornament finds Santa welcoming us to his home after hanging a festive green wreath on his door.  It's a bit plan, but still lots of fun.

The ornament is rather large.  It sits of a flat four inch base and stands about five and a half inches tall.  It features Santa standing in front on his door.  He's dressed in his red pants and coat with black boots on.  About the only thing he's missing is his hat on his head.  And while he's not overly fat, he could stand to lose a few pounds.  He's standing on a stone walkway with railing on the sides.  Behind his right hand is the green wreath he's just hung on the door.  Beside the door are two rows of stained glass windows.  Above the door is a lantern that really spot lights the wreath (and his hand).  We even get Santa's address on the door - 1225, of course.

Like the first ornament in the Once Upon a Christmas series, this ornament contains references to previous Hallmark ornaments.  There are eight ornaments pictured on the stained glass portions next to the door.  They range from a 1977 offering to a prize that Hallmark gave out in a drawing last year.  The wreath itself is a miniaturized version of an ornament that Hallmark gave out at their bi-annual convention in 2011, the year the ornament was released.

Those connections are cool, but I can't help feeling the ornament itself is a little plain.  It looks nice with some good touches like the snow on Santa's roof and the sides of his porch.  I think one thing is how brown it looks.  I still like it (as I should for the price), but it seems like they could have done more with it.

This is an ornament that connects to Hallmark's Magic Cord (sold separately).  There's a special plug in the back that only connects to these cords, and its through the cord that it gets the power for the light and sound.

When the ornament is getting power, the light above the door is always on.  The lights in the base and in the stain glass window flash and alternate between red and green (base) and red and yellow (window).  All the ornament connected to the same cord talk to each other, so if another ornament is currently playing, the lights might be blinking in time to that music from that ornament.

There's a button in the front of Santa's walk you use to turn this ornament on.  For this one, Santa talks in a rich, deep voice about surprising Mrs. Claus by hanging the wreath on the door.  After just over 10 seconds, Santa stops talking and the instrumental music that's been in the background takes over for the rest of the minute run.  We get to listen to "Deck the Halls" as the lights on the ornament flash in time to the music.  It's lots of fun.  The other ornaments on the cord will fade in and out, but it's not synced to the music like the lights on this ornament are.  Speaking of the song, you'll find the first two lights written in the back of the ornament.

Because of the big base (which probably houses the electronics to run the show), this ornament would look great displayed somewhere in your house.  It would certainly sit flat wherever you put it.  But if you plan to hang it on your tree, you can use the hook about the lantern.  It might tip back ever so slightly, but not by very much.  Not surprisingly considering the size, this one does weight a bit more than your average ornament, so find a larger branch for it.

Even though it could use a bit more detail, there is still much to love about Decking The Door.  I plan to enjoy it for years to come.

And check out the rest of the Once Upon a Christmas series.

Original Price: $29.95

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