Ornaments to Be Cherished Year After Year

Photo by Aaron Leimkuehler

Making Magic Each Year

Admittedly, photo stylists can grow a bit fatigued about decorating for the holidays due to the slog of year-round prop and location scouting and photoshoot setup and cleanup.

That certainly had been the experience of Lorraine Colbert Elmore of Kansas City, a recently retired designer at Hallmark. But while on a photoshoot, a shopping trip to an antiques store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, changed all of that.

That’s when Elmore discovered pre-1940s German Christmas ornaments. She especially gravitates to the figural hand-blown glass ones, but also to those that are paper and foil.

“I love the combination of materials,” she says. “They’re whimsical, Old World and delicate. They appeal to me in that they’ve survived for so long.”

Her appreciation has led to a collection of hundreds. There are many faded red ornaments that look pink, harder-to-find blue-green ones as well as gold, silver and multi-color. Her favorites include Joan of Arc and Little Red Riding Hood heads.

Elmore crams lots of ornaments on live trees and a soft silver, vintage-style metallic tree she found several seasons ago at Stuff in Brookside.

“Each year, the ornaments re-ignite my excitement for the holidays,” she says.


Decking the Halls

Halls shopping bag ornament, $18, Chinese blue and white ornament, $30, Plaza postcard ornament, $35

Halls Kansas City, located in Crown Center, has an ornament game that has been going strong for decades. Buyers travel to Europe and work with craftspeople to have them specially designed for the store.

Each year, there are themed trees. There’s a fur-baby tree featuring paws, pups and bone-shaped treats. A college sports tree includes black-and-gold, blue-and-red and purple ornaments. The travel tree displays suitcase ornaments and postcards from popular spots around the globe and across the country, including national parks.

These ornaments make great gifts and stocking stuffers—party hosts, friends, and family would all find them memorable tokens.

The ornaments also make wonderful décor. Using silk cord or velvet ribbon, try tying them around dinner napkins or hang them from chandeliers. They can be fun place-card holders or displayed in a glass trifle dish centerpiece. And of course, in your Christmas tree to be cherished year after year.

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