Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Day

Magnet # 127: Hallmark Halls Station

Material: Plastic

Purchased By: Me

Now that Christmas has come to an end, it's time for me to enjoy my absolute most favorite day of the year - the day when all of the Christmas merchandise goes on sale for around 50% off. I've been hitting the December 26 sales for over a decade now, and I always have fun seeing just what items I can find for less.

As with Black Friday, I usually don't go out ridiculously early on December 26. And I never wait outside stores in the cold until they open - that's just too hardcore for me. But I do show up as soon as I'm able to check out what's left at shops like Hallmark, Jo-Ann's, and Hobby Lobby. And I sometimes drop by Target or maybe Best Buy - they can have some great sales this day, even if they're not really on Christmas items. I bought my own Christmas tree years ago at a Target on this day. I paid 40 bucks for a seven foot tree - not bad. I've also gotten decorations, lights, countless ornaments, and all sorts of goodies. Most often, I tend to go out with my Dad's sister, who is also pretty big into Christmas decorations. When we first started doing this, there tended to be many more customers involved. I remember even seeing a pair sitting outside a Hallmark in lawn chairs. One year, I did get to a Hallmark before it opened and stood in a line. But now, even when we accidentally pull up to a store before it's open, that doesn't seem to be the case. And I can remember one store having a line that wrapped about halfway through it. At the end, the employees gave each customer a little extra ornament to thank them for waiting so long. I've never seen either of those happen again. Now, if I have to wait, I'm rarely behind more than a couple of customers. And this all happened a good deal of time before our current Recession. So what gives? Are people no longer interested in saving on Christmas trinkets?

In any case, I thought this magnet would be perfect to post today because it is actually based on a Hallmark ornament. Yep, Hallmark turns a few of their ornaments into magnets every so often. I ended up getting this one (on sale) because it just wasn't as obviously holiday-themed as the rest I found and I figured I could display it on my fridge all year. And yes, I do. I also really like the amount of detail on it, and just how perfectly done it is. None of the paint is where it doesn't belong, but that rarely happens on Hallmark's products. And, yes, I realize that they may be mass produced, but they're co cute, I just don't care. I have other, more individualized ornaments to balance them out. But one trend I've missed about Hallmark ornaments is how they no longer showcase their designers like they used to. Sure, they still provide customers with the name of the ornament's sculptor, but when I first started collecting their ornaments, they would set aside pages of their annual Dream Book to feature group photos of all of their artists. They would also give them quotes throughout the book that made me feel like I was included, even just a little bit, in the process. Nowadays, they seem more corporate and less individualized by not focusing on those talented artists who provide some of their most popular items. I hope that someday they change back and provide their loyal customers more contact with the people who are producing their holiday keepsakes. And, no, a reality show is not necessary.

Well, you know where I'll be today. I admit, as the years have gone by, I've gotten considerably less motivated to shop this day. I guess there are only so many ornaments one person can really keep up with. And I may have even more Christmas ornaments than I've got magnets. Of course, I always manage to bring back more by day's end. Now, if there were a day when all magnets were on sale for 50% off, I might be pretty excited to go out then and do some serious damage, but I guess that'll never happen...

2 comments:

  1. The day after Christmas is traditionally called Boxing Day (known for the giving of small boxes with gifts, not the combat sport). No longer really celebrated here in the USA, it was once the day when wealthier individuals gave gifts to those less fortunate.

    The cynical part of me thinks that perhaps its no longer in favor because rather than regifting those holiday presents that were unwanted, giving them to the poor... now individuals just go to the Wal-Mart and return them, buying what they really wanted for Christmas all along. ;-)

    Of course its probably just not celebrated here in the US because we've eliminated the peerage. Nobody in the US wants to be considered a second class citizen to be given a gift on that day.

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  2. Thanks for the info. I never paid much attention to Boxing Day - guess I was too busy poring over the discount ornaments!

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