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Hallmark unveils new Kermit and Piggy Christmas ornament

By Nate Downs
March 13, 2003

The Muppets return to Hallmark's Keepsake Ornament Collection with this new rendition of Kermit and Piggy skating.

March, it comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, and if you are like me somewhere in the middle you take down your Christmas decorations. But others aren’t as quick. You see March is a magical month for collectors of Christmas ornaments, as most companies take this month to announce their new line. The granddaddy of them all is Hallmark, for they have been producing Christmas ornaments since the 1970’s, and have amassed a legion of collectors all over the world who eagerly anticipate the new crop of collectibles like a child waiting up for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

About this time every year, Hallmark releases their annual catalog. Called "The Dreambook", it features their new line of ornaments for that year. Within those slick glossy pages are ornaments pertaining to someone we all know. Hallmark is famous for their diversity in their collection. From ornaments for the Tennis fan, to a memento of "Baby’s First Christmas", Hallmark has an ornament for everyone on your Christmas list, and for any occasion celebrated that year.

Licensed characters are nothing new to the line either. The early days of Hallmark featured classic characters such as Raggedy Ann, Shirt Tales, Peanuts, and of course The Muppets.

Back in 1980, Hallmark released their very first Muppet Christmas ornament. As is the case with the majority of Hallmark ornaments at that time, it was a simple Satin Ball ornament with the date prominently featured. This was a popular trend for them at the time, as handcrafted ornaments (Hallmark’s way of saying molded plastic, sculpted by an in-house artist) were in their infancy.

That changed over the years though as glass and satin balls were slowly being faded out, and figural representations became more and more common in the line. Two of the best Hallmark Muppet Keepsake handcrafted ornaments to come out were The Divine Miss Piggy (featuring our favorite pig dressed as an angel) and Kermit on Skis. These two ornaments are much sought after by both Muppet Collectors and Hallmark Collectors.

Unfortunately in the mid eighties, Hallmark and the Muppets slowly parted ways. Gone were any plans of a new Kermit Christmas ornament to decorate the tree. That is until now.

This year is a special one for Muppet fans, as Hallmark has announced the first new Muppet Christmas ornament from the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Collection in twenty years! Featuring Miss Piggy and Kermit skating, it is a wonderful addition for your Muppet Christmas Tree. It features a felt scarf around Kermit, and “fur” lining our favorite Pig’s hat.

Hallmark’s annual premiere for the line is in late July, and I encourage all Muppet fanatics to run out and pick one up on opening day. One trick of the trade for ornament collectors is to talk to your local store manager/owner this spring. Oftentimes they begin taking requests for the ornaments months in advance. This will get you on a waiting list which will help insure you are able to get one in the case they actually sell out.

Unfortunately for us fans, this is not part of a series. Hallmark often issues series which insures that there will be an ornament produced in that series for a minimum of three years. But by purchasing this ornament early on this summer, it sends a strong message to Hallmark (who monitor the sales of their ornaments very closely), that this ornament is in demand, and it might push thru additional ornaments next year, or even a series featuring our Muppet gang!

With all this ornament talk I’m just about ready to decorate my tree, drink a cup of hot coco, and await the beginning of the Holiday season. Well, actually I think I’ll go outside and tan a little first. No sense in rushing things you know! But let me be the first to say, Happy Holidays in 2003!

 
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