Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ornament Review: Deck the House! - 2012 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun combination of lights and sound
Cons: Could control other ornaments better; often too much lights up
The Bottom Line
Flashing lights in sync
Delightful song arrangement
Makes a fun combo




There's No Such Thing as Too Much Decorations, Right?  Well, Maybe....

A few years ago, there was a YouTube video that everyone was passing around.  It showed a house with amazing Christmas lights all synced to play to Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s version of “Carol of the Bells.”  That video was the inspiration for Hallmark’s Deck The House!  This ornament, released in 2012 as a Magic Cord ornament, it a lot of fun.

Not surprising, it’s of the outside of a house.  The house is fairly square and small, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t covered with white lights.  And I do mean covered.  There are lines going down all four sides plus rows on the roof.  Even the Santa and pair of Snowmen in the front yard light up.  There's an outline of a green Christmas tree in the white roof, and a sign says "Merry Christmas on top.  And if you look closely, there is a man dangling from the roof by one of the strings of lights.  It’s wrapped around his ankle.  I hope someone hears him crying for help and finds him soon because other wise it’s going to be a long, cold wait.

As I mentioned earlier, this ornament is part of Hallmark’s Magic Cord line.  These ornaments attach to a specially created electrical cord.  Not only does this power their own light show, but it allows them temporary control of the rest of the ornaments on the cord when you pressed the button.

When this ornament is just plugged in, the lights in various parts of the house flash on and off.  There are the walls, the roof, the sign on the roof, and two figures in the front yard, and all three windows.  Each one of these lights up on their own.

But when you hit the button on the side of this ornament for it to start its show, it plays… you guessed it – “Carol of the Bells.”  Now, while this isn’t the Trans-Siberian Orchestra version, it is a similarly dramatic arrangement that is lots of fun.  And the various zones of lights on the ornament flash on and off in time with the music.

Unfortunately, this does bring up one of my two issues with the ornament.  Since it controls all the ornaments on the light string during the 45 seconds or so that the song is playing, I was expecting more dramatic light changes.  Sadly, this isn’t the case.  At one or two points, it does make them all flash in synch, but that’s it.  They could have done so much more with it.

Additionally, the ornament is just too small and the sides are too thin.  No, I’m not saying I already broke it, but you can see the lights on inside the house, so all the zones have some light even when they aren’t supposed to be on.

On the plus side, this has a nice, stable base, so you can put it on any flat surface if you chose to display it that way.  For purposes of hanging it on your tree, you’ll find the loop sticking out over the top of the house.  It hangs straight.  The adapter to plug it into the Wonder and Light cord is long enough that it doesn’t factor into how the ornament hangs.

Flaws aside, I do really enjoy this ornament.  The music arrangement is fun and the light show is great.  It reminds us why it is so much fun to Deck The House!

Original Price: $29.95

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