Monday, September 23, 2013

Ornament Review: A Carol by Candlelight - 2012 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good design, nice sound clip
Cons: Essentially an unlabeled repaint.
The Bottom Line:
Candlelight service
With quiet organ prelude
Fun but a repeat

Winter Falls for A Carol by Candlelight

I am a sucker for stained glass windows, so I was thrilled in 2012 to see Don Palmiter continue an unofficial series of church ornaments.  A Carol by Candlelight is great even if it is basically a repaint.

If you have 2011's This Little Light of Mine, you know what this ornament basically looks like.  It's a white clapboard church, or more off-white this year.  It's a long rectangle with two little Christmas tree shaped bushes out front.  There's also a belfry on the front top of the ornament.  The main differences in how the ornaments look is the fact that A Carol by Candlelight has snow on the ground while the previous year's ornament has green grass.  The color of the roof has changed to green and the door and foundation are now red.  And there is a wreath in front of the circular stained glass window over the door.

There is a hole in the back of the ornament, but that's a feature not a flaw.  It is designed so you can enter a light from a standard string of Christmas tree lights.  When you do that, you'll find that all the yellow windows glow softly.  The window over the door and a window in the back are multi-colored.  I wish all the windows were like last year's church, but that's a minor complaint.  It still looks great.

And they have sound.  This year, it's "Silent Night."  It's a slow, reverent version of the song done mostly by an organ.  No vocals this year, but it is beautiful to listen to.  The clip lasts about 30 seconds and covers most of a verse of the song before it slowly fades out.

The base of the ornament is nice and flat, which means you can display it on a shelf if you want.  Personally, I like adding it to the official Candlelight Services series that Hallmark stopped a few years back.  It makes for a fun shelf.

But if you chose to hang it on your tree, you'll find a brass loop at the center of the roof.  It hangs slightly to the front, but you have to be looking for it to notice it.  Besides, one you get a light in the back, that's going to have more of an effect on how it hangs than anything else.

There is a part of me that is bothered by the fact that the design is so similar to last year's ornament.  And there's a part of me that laughs because I buy repaints all the time.  If they'd called it that, I wouldn't mind at all.  However, I like the sound clip, and it is certainly different this year.  And I really like how it looks.  You can picture a Christmas Eve service with all the candles glowing.

There is a third church coming in 2013, and it is a very different design.  I'm looking forward to adding it to my official and unofficial series.

While I do wish it showed a little more creativity, I do still like A Carol By Candlelight and am glad I have it in my collection.

While not an official part of the series, check out the ornaments in the Candlelight Services series.

Original Price: $19.95

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