I love the Christmas holidays – the carols, bright lights, trimmed trees, and cookies! Oh…the cookies! During this time of year, when not in the kitchen baking, I always find myself running to my local Hallmark store to pick up those last minute cards, gift wrap, and bows. Hallmark always seems to all the fun Disney accessories for any season! The holidays in my house wouldn’t be complete without the addition of a new (or a few new) Disney Hallmark ornaments. The quality, details, and options of Hallmark ornaments make great gifts for that Disney fan in your life. I know I always find one (or five) that make it on my Christmas Wish List. But how exactly did Disney and Hallmark join forces?
The parallels between Joyce C. Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards, and Walt Disney are intriguing and it is easy to see why these two men struck up a flourishing friendship and business partnership. Both J.C. Hall and Walt Disney spent their formative youth years in the Midwest. As many of us know, Walt Disney spent his childhood in Illinois and Missouri while J.C. Hall grew up in Nebraska. Later, J.C. Hall settled in Kansas City, Missouri building his greeting card empire. I’m sure this city rings a bell for many Disney history buffs as Walt Disney also spent time in Kansas City, Missouri although he did not find financial success like J.C. Hall.
Both entrepreneurs were fans of each other’s work, since both J.C. Hall and Walt Disney strived to produce the highest quality product available. It was only fitting that in 1931 Hallmark and Walt Disney signed a licensing agreement allowing Hallmark to produce greeting cards with America’s favorite Disney cartoon characters. In fact, the agreement between Hall and Disney marks one of the first licensees given by Walt Disney, thus making it the oldest! Originally, cards featured Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. These cards were so popular that Hallmark soon began using other Disney characters such as Snow White and other members of The Fab 5. The relationship between Hall and Disney continued to flourish and Hallmark had a prime location on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland. This Hallmark location featured a special line of greeting cards, postcards, wrapping paper, pocket calendar, and other paper products. I don’t know about you, but I would love to see a return of Hallmark to the parks with their own exclusive stationary products.
In 1973, Hallmark introduced Christmas ornaments to the store’s growing inventory. The first official Hallmark Christmas ornaments included six glass ball ornaments and twelve yarn figures. It was not long before Disney characters were added to the mix and the rest is history! Disney themed Hallmark ornaments are very collectible and many continue to grow in value every year. Originally, only members of The Fab 5 were featured for ornaments, but just like the original greeting cards, it wasn’t long before other characters joined the mix. Along with old favorites such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, shoppers can find Phineas and Ferb, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other characters.
So, if you’re having a tough time finding a present for someone, head over to Hallmark and give those Disney ornaments a look. They make a wonderful gift and can be a yearly reminder of the Disney magic of the season!