Pros: Unique look; fun, original idea
Cons: Angel is a little busy; entire window doesn't light
The Bottom Line:
Gave this one a chance
Despite some disappointments
Turns out I like it
I've Got Glad Tidings of a New Hallmark Ornament Series
I have always loved stained glass windows. So when I found out about Hallmark's Windows of Faith series which debuted in 2010, I was pretty excited. Each ornament in this series will be like a stained glass window with optional lighting effect. The first in the series, Glad Tidings, didn't turn out quite as nice as I wanted, but I still like it.
While the ornament is hollow plastic, it is designed to look like the stone of an old fashioned church. The majority of it is gray and has a rough texture to it. There's a little decorative shelf at the bottom of the window as well. I can easily picture this as part of a great cathedral. Around on the back they've included part of Luke 2:10, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy." All the "stone" is a little dirty, which gives it that nice feel of really being outside.
But the main feature is the window itself. No, it's not made of glass. Best I can tell, it's a decal put on a clear plastic surface. It depicts an angel with hands raised up and a dove in his right hand.
Now the body of the angel is one area where the ornament falls short. It's made up of many multi-colored blocks. Frankly, these "pieces" look more like books on a bookshelf. It's weird, and took me a little while to get used to. The wings and the blue background are made up of stones that only vary a little in color, so they look more natural. Once I got used to how the angel looks, I must admit I kind of like it. It's not my first choice, but it's not as bad as I thought at first.
My bigger disappointment was with how the ornament lights up. At the top of the window is a hole for a light from a standard Christmas tree light string. There is a clip right there as well to clip the light on. When you stick a light into the ornament, you'll find that only the top half of the ornament actually lights up. This isn't because the hole doesn't go all the way down; it's because Christmas tree lights are only as long as half the window. I really wanted the entire window to light up, although given the size of the light blubs, I'm not quite sure how they'd go about doing that. Maybe some mirrors inside to reflect the light around more?
As a result, I debated for a while before I actually bought the ornament. Ultimately, I used a coupon and bought it at a discount. And I'm glad I did. It was always catching my eye on my tree this year, and I really liked how it looked. Yes, I still wish the entire window light up, but the parts that did light up looked very nice. And the stone part of the ornament really stood out.
There is a brass hook at the top of the window to hang the ornament. Naturally, you'll want to hang it before you stick a light in the hole. If the ornament is just hanging, it tips ever so slightly forward. However, that's not really an issue because how the ornament hangs will be determined by the light string more than anything else, so if you don't like how it is hanging, use a different light.
As I mentioned, this is the first in a series, which means Hallmark has marked it with a 1 inside a Christmas tree on the very bottom.