Reviewing Hallmark's 2013 Keepsake Dreambook!

Click for Larger Image!
In the grand hunt for Christmas it seems almost unfair to include Hallmark in the same category as all the other retail stores. When we complain about Wal-Mart setting up a few rogue Christmas Trees in the middle of October, it's typically because we've all forgotten that Hallmark has secretly been preparing for Santa's Arrival since May 4th.

Forgotten or just simply not aware of how soon Hallmark gets the holiday ball rolling. Personally, I am going with the latter of the two options. I feel like nobody really shops at Hallmark this early in the year. Not unless you are eighty or are birthday shopping for someone whose eighty years old.  And during either scenario you probably don't take the time to really stop and look around the store.

You should. You really, really should. Not only can you find tucked away artifacts from the previous seasons holiday festivities but the coming Christmas Season always starts right here and it starts in the form of the 2013 Keepsake Dreambook!

But before we dive deep into the pages of the 2013 Dreambook, I wanted to take a brief minute to elaborate on a few of the items that I picked up that were clearly leftover from last season, which you can see in the photo up above.

Christmas Tree Scented Candles will go great with a cup of hot chocolate and a few holiday tunes and this big Pumpkin Spice candle is sure to help bring about the illusion of cool fall weather on those long, hot summer nights. And believe it or not this wasn't even everything that they had. A few sporadic ornaments still decorated the store along with a couple other odds and ends that just screamed of the holiday season.

Click for Larger Image!
The star of this show, however is the 2013 Keepsake Dreambook and if you are like me and simply cannot wait for the coming Christmas Season than this book is exactly what you've been waiting for.

The Dreambook is a fairly hefty catalog, filled to the brim with 87 pages of just about every kind of ornament you can think of. Licensed items, sports stars, vintage decorations, religious items, it's all here.

And like anything else it's all subjective to the readers personal taste. I picked out a just a few of my personal favorite items from the book. Mileage may very from person to person, but I think you'll all be able to appreciate what I've chosen to write about.

Click for Larger Image!
My love for all things Charlie Brown related instantly drew my attention to this page of ornaments themed around 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'. All of them were pretty cool in there own rights but my pick for 'best in show' has to be this Pigpen ornament.

Pigpen is such a great character. I've always enjoyed the way he has this permanent cloud of shit that just sort falls off him all the time. Perhaps because I feel like everyone went to school with that kid. The one really dirty kid who always sort of smelled like manure and everyone avoided. That's Pigpen. Not outright described like that, because hey it's a children's cartoon but that's the subtext going on here.

I'm rambling. I know. I love the ornament... especially the lines of dirt that have been carved into the snowman. Details. Someone should probably call DHS on Pigpen's parents.

Click for Larger Image!
Out of all the National Lampoon 'Vacation' films my personal favorite will always be the Christmas flick. It's just classic in every sense of the word and would probably be the obvious choice to turn into different themed ornaments. Which is why it shouldn't be all that surprising that Google has pages upon pages of different Christmas Vacation Ornaments that you could deck your tree out with.

And once you've got your fill of Christmas Vacation ornaments you can move onto this replica car from the first film, which is just a button press away from playing a sample of  "Holiday Road" for your musical enjoyment.

I love this car! While I wish it was themed around the holiday film instead of the first movie I fully understand that they've probably tapped the 'Christmas Vacation' well dry by this point. In the end its still a really strong ornament and probably my favorite of all the ones you'll see in this article today.

Click for Larger Image!
I never shopped at Hallmark until a few years ago when I first found the 'Nightmare Before Christmas' themed ornaments for sale. From that point on I was hooked. And I've bought the new 'Nightmare' decorations every year since.

This year it looks like we are getting Jack ridding in his creepy alternative to Santa's Sleigh (or in this case would it be Santa's Slay?). Being a big enough fan of the film it doesn't really matter what stupid scene they base these ornaments around, I'll buy them regardless.

Hallmark knows this. That is why in some off years we get Jack dressed as a snowman. Those are the off years. This one I don't think is quite an off year, however. I really do like Jack's Sleigh o' Scares and look forward to picking it up when the time is right!

Click for Larger Image!
Towards the very back of the book lurks one page dedicated to Halloween Themed Christmas Decorations and never have I been any happier than when I found them. Even though I spend a lot of time writing about Christmas over the course of the year (mostly because the holiday seems to never truly go dormant anymore) I can tell you that my true passion is Halloween.

It's the holiday that I put the most time and effort working towards. The one I can relate with the most and also the hardest to find out of season. Halloween is strictly a September through October kind of affair. I love seeing this little glimpse here in May!
I always set out a secondary, smaller Christmas Tree each year with a Halloween theme. Complete with purple and orange lights and a few spooky ornaments I've picked up over the years. Having something new to add to my Halloween Tree is definitely something I'm looking forward to later on this year.

And as we gear up and dive into the Summer Season I really do quite enjoy secretly making preparations for the coming Halloween and Christmas holidays! If you get a chance be sure to stop into Hallmark and take a look around for yourself. Perhaps you'll be able to leave with a few leftovers from last season like I have. At the very least, you'll be able to thumb through this catalog and start make preparations for the most wonderful time of the year. =)