Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great glow effects, cute building
Cons: More colors would be nice, slight tip when hanging
The Bottom Line:
Ring in sweet school days
Ring in sweet school days
With Noelville addition
With perfect warm glow
Sweet School Days
The last couple of years, I haven't been too happy with the entries in the Noelville series from Hallmark. The ornaments have seemed a bit plain and not that exciting. But I am happy to report that this year's Schoolhouse is very fun.
The idea behind this series is to create a town out of gingerbread houses. As such, the walls of this one room schoolhouse are a nice tan. There are windows on three of the sides, and they are yellow and outlined in white frosting. The corners of the building all have peppermint sticks on them. While the roof is covered in frosting snow (and glitter), there are red hearts in it. Around the building are hard candy leaves, gumdrop bushes, and lollipops. There's even a little gingerbread boy with a backpack and a cap on backward walking down the front steps. And if you look up on top, there's a belfry with a golden bell in it.
What first attracted me to the series is the optional lighting effect. You can hook the ornaments up to a miniature light and see light glow from the ornament. There's a hole in the back (the side without any windows) that is the perfect size. In this case, the windows light up and the candy hearts on the roof glow red. Heck, even the bell glows faintly. The plants around the schoolhouse are clearer plastic as well, but they do not light up. However, they do catch lights surrounding them and glow a little. It's a very nice effect that adds to the charm of the ornament.
My complaint about the last few ornaments in the series has been that the windows have been too big and seemingly taken over the ornament. Yes, there is such a thing as too much glowing. That's not the case here. The mixture is just right to add some charm while still making the building look nice even if it isn't glowing. I do wish it had more colors that glowed, but that's a minor complaint.
Because this is a building, it's on a flat base, so if you decide to string a light string across a shelf or mantle, you can create a gingerbread town with this and the other ornaments in the series. The bottom is also where you'll find the 7 in a Christmas tree since this is the seventh ornament in the series. And as an added fun feature, 2012, the year this ornament came out, can be found on the bottom step of the school.
I'm thinking I may display these on a shelf this year, but in the past I have hung them on my trees. The ornament appears to tilt just slightly to the front left corner, but once you have it on a tree, it won't be noticeable at all. Plus, I've found that when I have it attached to the light string, that always changes the angle of the ornament as well.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Noelville series.
Original Price: $19.95