Department 56 Halloween Village Preview

Department 56 Halloween Village Preview

The 2013 Halloween Village offerings by Department 56 are frightfully fun and painstakingly detailed. We remember the comments of a Department 56 Village designer from a couple years back. The designer told us the problem that Department 56 was having with their Villages was that all their most talented architechts only wanted to work on either the North Pole Series, or on Halloween pieces. The 2013 Halloween Village evidences that comment. Fun, well appointed pieces, with just the right dose of spooky.

The “Hemoglobin Blood Bank” features three lit, rooftop “vaults” for vampires to deposit and withdraw their savings. This bank has a drive-through… with a sign reminding patrons “For Deposits Only.” How do these “bankers” keep their vaults full? Note the empty barrels stashed on the building’s left. They are marked “Jumbo Leeches.” Yuck! If your Halloween Village is indeed in need of a blood-thirsty bank, consider the coordinating, “Beware the Bloodmobile,” the bank’s pick-up and delivery truck.

Last year, Department 56 added the sub-series “Witch Hollow” to the Halloween Village. For 2013 the “Three Witches Cauldron Haunt” continues the series. Three cauldrons of the witches’ brews light and change color in front of this witch-hat-topped cottage! The coordinating accessory, “Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble” features a very wicked witch tending to her diabolical recipe. As Department 56 has decided to continue this series, we think it warrants its own little section in our Halloween Village. Consider grouping the Witch Hollow pieces together, somewhat separated from your main display. You can create a creepy effect by surrounding the Hollow with a small grove of trees. Try using the new set of “Black Bare Branch Trees.” You could even hang your own spooky ornaments from the branches for a really erie “Blair Witch” effect!

Can we all agree that clowns are terrifying? No? It could be just me. But I don’t think so! The scariest release for the 2013 Department 56 Halloween Village is the “Clown House of Terror.” This release adds to Department 56’s continuing spooky carnival series and features orange interior lighting and terrifying spooky carnival sound effects. The coordinating accessory, “Let’s Have a Little Fun,” is a clown right out of clown-phobic nightmare. Think Steven King’s “It” on steroids. Especially since this guy is enticing would-be victims to enter the House of Terror right through its insanely crafted entrance: a gaping clown’s mouth!

Although these pieces are awesome, our favorite additions to the Halloween Village have got to be the new tracks for the Haunted Rails. We know some of you have already re-purposed old Lionel tracks for supporting the forever popular Haunted Rails Engine and her creepy series or adjoining cars, but the addition of these perfectly scaled and detailed tracks will make display so much easier and better. The ceramic curved or straight tracks are sold in packs of two, so you can lay as little or as much track as your creepy commuters need!

We hope you are as excited for the 2013 Halloween Village as we are!

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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


The Knit Wits Have Arrived!

The Knit Wits Have Arrived!

“Why am I such a misfit, I am more than a nit-wit…” – Rudolph – (The Red Nosed Reindeer)
One of my first memories of Snowbaby artist Kristi Jensen Pierro was a conversation I had with one of the gents that designed displays for her pieces. I suggested to the display designer that a light blue colored backdrop for her white, bisque, figurines might make them “pop.” Ms. Jensen Pierro insisted on all white. All white it was.

Well, she was right. Nearly 20 years later, Ms. Jensen Pierro is not only still creating her snow white inspired Snowbabies, but has become the featured designer of most of Department 56’s non-Village offerings.

Her new collections, have offered, maybe begrudgingly, but to wonderful effect, a touch of color. Her “Snowpinions” line, for instance, features wonderful, plump, round but Snowbaby-esque porcelain snowmen holding placards with contemporary sayings. We sell out. In a hurry.

This year, The Christmas Dove is proud to offer Kristi’s latest dream, “Knit Wits.” These bisque porcelain figures and ornaments are adorned not only with a touch of color but a touch of knit fabric. Knit scarves and knit hats keep these “Knit Wits” warm. Cozy birds, bears, reindeer and snowmen will be featured.

We love the Knit Wit collection, and think you will too!

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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


For a Unique Wedding Gift, Think Christmas?


We were always self-conscious about giving wedding gifts from the store until we gave a bride-to-be one of our Wedding Ornament Sets, and it turned out to be the hit of the shower.  We have not looked back since.

The traditional German styled set comes with the selection of 12 ornaments each symbolizing a wish for the new couple’s years together: prosperity, tranquility in the home, and so on.  We have also added a smaller heirloom set that comes in a heart-shaped box.  Both make stunning first additions to a new couple’s Christmas Tree.  You can be certain you will get a phone call each year:  “Hey, we were just decorating the tree and we unpacked the ornaments and were thinking of you…”

radko2013weddingChristopher Radko also offers a wonderful collection of First Christmas ornaments.  For those that don’t know about Radko, they are sort of the gold-standard when it comes to Christmas.weddingcarkit  They are made in Poland, hand-painted and glittered.  It takes about a week to make just one ornament.  Very collectible.

Another fun gift is our “Just Married” car decorating kit.  We have carried these for years.  The kit includes a magnetic “Just Married” decal for the couple’s get-away car, and super shiny tin-cans with silk ribbons to tie to the bumper.  A hip classic.

startersetAnother idea we stole from a couple of our clients.  For someone wanting to give a more spiritual wedding gift, consider a nativity set.  Fontanini nativities come from Italy and are hand-painted and amazingly detailed.  Fontanini starter sets come with the Holy Family and stable.  But what is great is that the figures are all standardized in scale so the couple can add to their scene over the years with Wise Men, Shepherds, Angels and so-on.

Fontanini is also readily available at nicer gift shops around the country, so wherever the couple settles, they can find pieces.  We have added to our Fontanini set a lot over the years, and have also enjoyed their durability.  The kids can help set up the scene, and the dog can knock a shepherd over without fear of them breaking!

And remember, if the whole thing doesn’t work out, there’s always our Happy Divorce ornament.  Sorry.  Inappropriate, but we couldn’t resist.

The Happy Divorce Ornament

The Happy Divorce Ornament

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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Easter Flowers!

Easter Flowers!

While we can’t quite believe it after over a foot of snow the last couple days, Spring and Easter are upon us! Our designers have put together an amazing menu of floral choices for your Spring and Easter celebrations! Visit our fresh-floral site at!

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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


So Our New Ice and Snow Theme is Coming Together…

DSCN1849As I am sure you know, our designers are always trying to stay two steps ahead of the curve when it comes to Holiday design.  They were on to purple two years before renaissance lights.  They were on to lime green two years ago (lime is big this year, by the way.)

Last year Linda decorated her tree for the granchildren with an all white tree, with her white fairy lights, and black and white photography of the family.  So guess what… for 2013 we are proud to present our Snow and Ice theme, commentworthy due to its lack of color.

On a flocked tree we are using jeweled snowflakes and peacocks.  Our jeweled star-burst tree topper is a knock-out.  The only color added is a hint of blue, provided by LED icicle lights.  Have you ever seen snow in the polar regions?  No?  Neither have we. But those who have report a blue-tint to the snow, due to the clarity of the air reflecting the sky on pure ice-crystals.

That’s what this theme is: pure ice and snow.  A mono-chromatic stunner.  Check our website for elemenets of the the theme already in stock!

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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


Christopher Radko Announces the Winners of Their 2012 “Best Tree in Town” Contest. Come on, New England! We Can Do Better Than This!

CR Logo & Tagline
Christopher Radko proudly presents… The Best Trees in Town 2012!
First Place
Lucille and David Jackson
Hillsdale, NJ
An avid collector for twenty years, Lucille Jackson’s Christopher Radko® collection currently tops out at an amazing 1,200 pieces! Using a complex system of Excel spreadsheets and sturdy boxes, Lucille and her husband David are able to keep careful track of their very special “inventory” at all times. When it comes to decorating strategy, they look to spotlight different pieces each year by varying the order in which the ornaments are hung on the tree.


“In 2006, my Christmas tree fell and smashed over 250 ornaments (and damaged more)–hence the wires we use to ensure it will not fall over now. It was challenging finding replacements and even 6 years later we still have not replaced them all… but thanks to the online Radko community we have been able to find most of them.”











In addition to their enviable primary collection, Lucille and David also decorate a romantically-themed tree each year.  Lucille’s parents began this tradition, having gifted Lucille with a dozen ornaments as a tradition of good wishes just before she became a new bride.  Today, this little tree holds forty-two ornaments!     



Second Place

Patricia Reaves
Anniston, AL

Patricia Reaves is a collector of both our Christopher Radko® and Americana-inspired Shiny-Brite™ ornaments; she devotes an entire tree to each every year!


   “I grew up in the 60’s in a home where our Christmas tradition was to go with my Dad to pick out a freshly cut tree, bring it home and decorate it with the old style lights that required you to check every bulb if one went out (my favorite job).  We then placed our beautiful mercury glass garland and ornaments on the tree before listening to our Mom fuss at us for the way we put the tinsel on.  Decorating my two trees with my son every year and watching him carefully place each Shiny-Brite and Radko ornament reminds me of those childhood Christmases.”

Third Place
Mike Ritchie

Manchester, MO


“We have made the decoration of the tree a family event in which the grandchildren, since they have been able to walk, help by unwrapping and delivering the ornaments to their mothers to hang on the tree. The wonder and awe expressed by the grandchildren as they unwrap the Radko ornaments is a special moment for us as grandparents. Our hope is that in the future the grandchildren will remember, by decorating their own trees with these Radko ornaments, the special time they had with their grandparents each Christmas.”



Mike Ritchie purchased his first Radko ornament in 1999. Today, his family’s collection has grown to over 275 ornaments! A special fan of “wire wrapped” vintage-inspired ornaments, Mike has tracked down fifty-seven of the seventy-five styles produced by Christopher Radko over the years, using past catalogues and collectors’ guides. Having such a large collection meant buying larger and larger trees each year…today Mike’s son and daughter-in-law graciously host a 10′ tree in their home so that the entire family can enjoy the whole collection at once.  







So many thanks to all who entered!
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


The 2013 Christopher Radko Ornaments are In!

Christopher Radko designers Joe Walden, Mario Tare´ and Lucas Madden have created over 700 new ornaments for the 2013 line.  This is a prodigious volume of creativity rivaling the so-called golden era of Radko.  We at the Christmas Dove believe that these 2013 Christopher Radko introductions are nothing less than the fulfillment of a renaissance of the finest Christmas glass house in the world.

While it is impossible to highlight all of the best of this year’s Christopher Radko line in this post (try our website, where we have a little more room!), we will do our best to synopsize here the epic 2013 collection!

Ready to Fly!

Ready for Takeoff!

For 2013, we welcome the new series “Scenes from the North Pole.”  This new 12 ornament series offers a glimpse into the daily life at the North Pole.  Prepping Santa’s Castle, Santa’s loaded sleigh, Santa circling the globe, and the big man sliding down a chimney are all featured subjects for the series.  The series is wonderful, but the 12 pieces comprising it can also stand on their own.  That makes for a great series.  Our two favorites are Ready for Takeoff and Midnight Trip.  We invite you to start enjoying the “Scenes from the North Pole” series there.


Think Pink Nick

The folks at Christopher Radko have recommitted themselves to Charity Awareness this year.  For 2013, Radko offers twelve new Awareness ornaments benefitting some of our country’s most pressing needs and causes.  Lymphoma, Heart Disease, Breast Cancer, the Environment, HIV/AIDS, Pediatric Cancer, Diabetes, Autism, Animal Charities, Veterans’ Awareness, Alzheimer’s and Law Enforcement Awareness will all be beneficiaries of this year’s Christopher Radko Charity Awareness offerings.

Holiday Splendor Reflectors

Holiday Splendor Reflectors

You Vintage lovers will be pleased to learn that the 2013 line of Shiny Brites has been completely recolored and revamped.  While there are several colorations being released this year, the “Holiday Splendor” collection is by far the best.  Shiny Brites are best when they look like they belong in the Forties or Fifties, and this collection features ornaments George Bailey would have hung on his tree.

The core line is phenomenal and we had a hard time narrowing our “favorites” list down… but you can see them all in the Chritopher Radko aisle of our website.





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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

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