CARLSBAD — June Krisher’s Christmas ornament collection chronicles her 55-year marriage to husband, Ed. The couple owns The Printery on Roosevelt Street.
Krisher bought her first ornament, a clown made of Italian glass, at the Denver Dry Goods Company in Denver, Colo., shortly after their wedding in 1955.
“I thought any ornament with arms and legs was cute,” she said. “I referred to them as ‘people’ and knew I needed to get more of them.”
Today, her collection has swelled to 1,500 pieces, which she puts away after the holidays in cardboard boxes in a storage unit. It takes three days for her to take them out and carefully arrange on her two trees.
Krisher keeps her eye out for ornaments year-round, including when she’s on vacation.
“All my glass ornaments come from Macy’s, Bullocks, Broadway and May Co.,” she said. “There’s also a Christmas ornament store in L.A. and another one in Solvang that I like.”
One of her favorites is an astronaut she purchased at the May Co. in San Bernardino in 1969 to mark the moon landing on July 20.
Another is of a model wearing an evening gown her daughter gave her in 2007 to mark the 100th anniversary of Neiman-Marcus.
Each year Krisher continues a tradition of presenting her two children, now adults, with ornaments on Thanksgiving Day.
“My daughter gets ponies, dolls, birds and fairies,” she said. “She’s got a 9-foot tree. It’s loaded.”
Her son drives racecars in his spare time.
“His first word after ‘Mama’ and “Dada’ was ‘Chevy,’” she said. “He’s got every truck, car, fire truck, Harley-Davidson and plane Hallmark ever made.”
Krisher’s favorite ornaments are those made of glass.
She has a collection of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made by artist Christopher Radko from Gastonia, N.C., but says they don’t measure up to Italian glass.
“Italian-made glass is more delicate,” she said. “If I was younger I’d learn how to blow glass myself.”
One of Krisher’s greatest accomplishments is a complete set of about 150 Hallmark Barbie doll ornaments she’s collected since they debuted in 1993.
“I bought the first one on sale for $5 after the holidays at a local drug store,” she said. “It was valued at $350 at one time but is now worth about $150.”
Many of the ornaments are replicas of the Barbie line of dolls which was launched in 1963. Some are dressed in couture. Her favorite is Barbie and Ken as bride and groom.
This holiday season Krisher’s is selling her entire Barbie collection. The asking price is $2,700 including the tree. Each ornament has its own box.
“All of Barbie’s shoe boxes have shoes in them, wrapped in tissue,” she said.
Krisher collected the ornaments through membership in the National Hallmark Ornament Club.
Put simply, she is overwhelmed.
“Membership is about $31, but you get more than that in ornaments they send you,” she said. “Hallmark comes out with so many of them now, it’s hard to keep up.”
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