Pros: Bold colors and unique details make a different yet beautiful ornament
Cons: Some people won't like it
For years, I've been thinking I needed to get something to represent the 12 Days of Christmas on my tree. When I started collecting Hallmark ornaments last year, I saw they had done a series. But I looked at them and didn't really care for them.
In 2011, they started doing a second series based on the classic song. Of course, they started with Partridge in a Pear Tree. I went back and forth on whether I was going to start the series or not, but as soon as I saw it in person, I knew I had to get it.
This is not in any way a traditional looking ornament. It is highly stylized with bold colors. It seems from reactions I heard that people will fall into the love it or hate it camp with very little middle ground. I think the colors and styles work well.
Edythe Kegrize, the artist who designed and sculpted this ornament, has said in an interview that she wanted to go for a collage look for the ornament. For example, the wings are attached separately and stick out a little from the body. There are two layers to them with the top layer having music on it. The wings attach to the body with a little golden design of some kind. The fact that these wings stick out does worry me a bit because it seems like they would be easy to break. But I do love the way they look.
The body of the bird itself is a dark blue for the head and back. It fades into an orange brown for the main part of the body. On the body are the words to the verse in a very nice gold calligraphy. The bird is looking to his left, so I take it that is the front. The words on the front side emphasize partridge while the back emphasizes pear tree. The gold lines carry over as accents on other parts of the bird. And the bird has a gold garland around his neck.
But what about the pear tree part of the verse? While I'm glad you asked. There is a pear dangling from the bottom of the bird. It has two leaves and fades from an orange to a greenish yellow color. It looks very much like a pear would look. On it is written "One" is the same calligraphy used on the bird.
As I said, I just couldn't decide how this would look from the pictures I'd seen on-line and in the Dreambook Hallmark produces. But the finish result looks lovely. Pictures and words truly don't do it justice.
The ornament has no way to stand it up, so the only way to display it is to hang it on a tree. There's a small ring behind the plume on the partridge. Slip a hook through it, and you'll find that it hangs almost perfectly straight. Only the pickiest person would notice the very slight tilt to the bird. Personally, I had to look twice to see it.
And yes, the ornament does have the 1 in a Christmas tree to denote that it is the first in a series. It's actually hidden on the ornament, and I'm not going to spoil the fun of finding it. Just trust me, it is there.
I think the biggest issues with this series will be if people like the stylized look or not. For me, I hope that the rest of the series winds up looking as nice as Partridge in a Pear Tree does. If you are undecided, my best piece of advice is to stop by a Hallmark store and look at it for yourself. For me, that made it an instant buy.
This review is part the Fifth Annual Christmas in July Write Off.
Twelve Days of Christmas Series:
2011 - Partridge in a Pear Tree (You are here)
2012 - Two Turtle Doves