April 7, 2014

Hallmark 2014 Plan

Last year I made my Hallmark ornament shopping plan on April 4th. This year, I paid to join the Keepsake ornament Club (KOC), which was supposed to come with early access to the dreambook. I signed up on March 5th. Today was the first morning my KOC account worked – 1 month and 2 days after I handed over my credit card information. Not a happy customer am I.

It looks like Hallmark launched a whole new website for club members today. I know from my multiple conversations with customer support that their websites are designed as independent silos, with separate databases. (Every time I called they said the website administrator just needed to “enter my number into the website” for it to work. Keep in mind, the KOC number was automatically generated – by the website – when I signed up. Apparently the website that takes your credit card, and the one with the member’s only section are not the same.) Presumably tech support knew they were switching over websites and didn’t feel the need to put my KOC number into the old website’s database. That’s my theory at least. Regardless, for the first time I have access to the dreambook.

High on my list is Present-Packing Penguins. The Unofficial Kris Penguin series has been a favorite of mine. Present-packing penguins has two of the pengins in a sleigh delivering a present to the third penguin. I just wish the price tag wasn’t so high. $17.95 for a single ornament? Yipes! That’s a 20% increase from last year’s Penguin ornament, Playful Penguins.

I was on the fence with Happy Little Elf gumdrop, this year’s miniature gumdrop ornament. It’s a red gumdrop, and I already have Goody Goody Gumdrop which I liked better. I was thinking of trying to snag this one in an after Christmas sale, but Domingo swayed me. He likes the little elf holding a peppermint, and it’s his tree too.

We’ll probably get Baby’s First Christmas. I wish it was more in the style of the rocking horse, but at least it’s not like some of the other Baby’s First Christmas that are totally not our style. It’s not a 100% porcelain like the rocking horse. The stocking trim is fabric. I’m not sure how much I will like it in person.

We’ll be either passing, or waiting for after Christmas sales for most of the rest of them.

I’ve been collecting the Snowball and Tuxedo series, a series featuring a polar bear and penguin friend. For this year’s I think I’m going to wait for an after Christmas sale. It’s a cute idea; snowball is cheering as Tuxedo makes a snow angle. In the head on photo in the dream book you can’t tell Tuxedo is making a snow angle. He’s laying flat on his back. Snowball is looking down at him with his paws in the air. A polar bear, paws extended, staring down at a penguin flat on the ground? Maybe the 3D version will be more appealing, but the 2D photo reminds me of “when polar bears attack”. I had a similar visceral reaction to the 2007 Here’s the Scoop ornament. Tuxedo is lying on the shovel that Snowball was using. It’s supposed to representing playing around in the snow, but I can’t help but think it makes Tuxedo look like a jerk.

Cookie Cuter Christmas is another cute idea that I think could have been executed better. The mouse is in a bell shaped cookie cutter singing Christmas Carols. I don’t feel particularly compelled to get it. I loved last years, and since the series doesn’t have a date I only want to spend money on the ornaments I love. Or at half price. I love half price!

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  1. […] allowing users to print their own blocks. Maybe Hallmark will fallow suit. Then again, if my experience with their keepsake club website is any indication, Hallmark is less technologically savvy. We’ll just have to wait what […]

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