Hallmark Ornaments, Hallmark Maxine, Dolly Mamas, Department 56 Dickens Village, Snowbabies Figurines

Hallmark is one my favorite stores to buy decorative figurines and collectibles, and my appreciation for all things Hallmark began with hysterically funny, crabby old lady Maxine and her funny quotes full of sarcastic humor. My Amazon wishlist wouldn’t be complete without a couple inexpensive Hallmark Maxine products like the collectible Maxine dolls, next year’s calendar, Maxine’s bunny slippers and pink terry cloth robe etc, but I became very excited when I discovered there is trademark Hallmark Maxine fabric for making pillows, curtains, valances etc to decorate a room or two Maxine-style.

I foresee a bathroom and perhaps another room decorated in Maxine coming soon, especially since I was able to find a Maxine soap dish and toothbrush holder in my beloved Maxine theme. My Maxine “obsession” has rubbed off on friends too, so I now have more competition in my search for low cost new, discontinued or retired Hallmark gifts and treasured collectibles, including my precious Maxine and Dolly Mamas.

Dolly Mamas

Fans of Hallmark Maxine and her sarcastic sense of humor are likely familiar with Dolly Mama’s dolls, figurines, cross stitch kits, tote bags, coasters, funny quotes and sassy attitude, similar to old lady Maxine. Dolly Mama’s dolls and lady figurines, with her whimsical feather-trimmed hat and crazy sense of fashion that remind me of “Pippi Longstocking”, come exclusively from The Hamilton Collection, designed by artist Joey Heiberg.

Dolly Mama collection items include “Hat-titude” dolls, Christmas tree ornaments, music boxes, wall clock, tote bags, apparel, plates and glassware (wine glasses) etc, in celebration of your sassy personality. Humorous and poseable Dolly Mama dolls and figurines poke fun at age and getting old(er), with funny sayings like: “Put Your Big Girl Panties On and Deal With It!”; “It’s Not the Age, It’s the Attitude!”; “It’s Happy Hour Somewhere!”; “Nobody Knows the Truffles I’ve Seen”; “I’m Still Hot, It Just Comes in Flashes”. The limited-edition, hand-painted, Dolly Mama’s Dazzling Divas Figurine Collection is a must-have for Dolly Mama fans, like me. If you love Maxine by Hallmark, you will surely love Dolly Mamas just as much.

I rarely pay full retail price for most merchandise I want to buy, not since I know I can find just about anything I want from Hallmark stores at either Amazon, an eBay auction or through eBay “buy it now” cheap listings. More often than not, purchased items offer free shipping or when shipping fees are calculated into the price, I still come out ahead of paying full retail by buying online through Amazon, eBay or one of my other favorite online websites.

Hallmark Dept 56

As the Christmas holiday season begins each year, I begin shopping for new and unique Hallmark ornaments to hang on the Christmas tree, but what I’ve wanted to do this year and throughout 2011 is get a head start on a Christmas Village collection to display during the holidays. I’ve been happily surprised at the large selection, quality and craftsmanship of Hallmark’s Department 56 Villages, collectibles and ornaments. Department 56 Krinkles ornaments top my list of favorites, especially the Krinkles Reindeer ornaments and stockings.

The moment I saw the 10 different and stunningly beautiful Dept 56 Christmas villages, buildings, houses and cabins, I knew choosing between them was going to be difficult. I like them all. The animated Department 56 Snow Village houses and accessories are gorgeous, and considering how much I love the snow during Chicago winter months, Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas snowman figurines by The Bradford Exchange makes me love the snow village collection that much more, but I can definitely see why the Dept 56 Dickens Village is so popular, even though a tad costly for individual collection pieces.

The Department 56 North Pole Village set is very colorful, with figurine and reindeer accessories in colors that compliment the houses extraordinarily well, and is on my top 4 list of xmas villages by Dept 56. Decisions, decisions. The Dept 56 Christmas Story Village houses and figurines are also cute and colorful, but not really my cup of tea as far as style goes, even though the price for collection set pieces are reasonable. The old, Victorian-style houses and buildings in some Dept 56 village collection sets, like the Williamsburg, remind me of some of the homes and architectural buildings where I grew up.

Besides the North Pole village, Department 56 Elfland lighted village piques my interest as well. The color combination and attention to detail in the design, style and artistry is breathtaking. How anyone makes a final choice of which Department 56 Christmas village is the best or most wanted is beyond me. Choosing one village collection over all the other villages by Dept 56 has been harder than I originally thought it would, but I will somehow find a way of picking my personal favorite soon enough.

Department 56 Snowbabies Ornaments

Surprisingly enough, I was not really familiar with Dept 56 Snowbabies Classics Christmas ornaments, nativity scenes, figurines and water globes until I saw a baby’s nursery decorated with Snowbabies throughout the baby girl’s room. After seeing how cute these ornaments and figurines are, I can understand why Snowbabies are popular Christmas ornaments, but also why Snowbabies make a unique and special girl or boy baby shower gift for new mom’s and dad’s to treasure.

Even though I’m still undecided about what Christmas village I want to start collecting over time, I’m positive that it will be a Dept 56 Christmas village by Hallmark. I expect completing the collection set will take years to finish, and since I’m not in any big rush, I can also work on my Maxine collection and Dolly Mamas at the same time.

[Originally Published December 2010]

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