11 Precious Moments Facts

~~ORIGINAL TEXT can be found here: http://www.countryliving.com/shopping/antiques/a36587/precious-moments-facts/ ~~

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After production began in 1978, Precious Moments took the gift-giving industry by storm. With a design for every occasion, collecting each teardrop-eyed figurine became a cultural phenomenon. And today, these cuties still make our heart sing. But they’re not just an adorable face — here’s what you might not know about these collectibles:

1. The marking on the bottom of your figurine means something.

Every Precious Moments figurine created after 1981 has a marking on the bottom that indicates its production year. For example, there is a triangle printed on the bottom of each 1981 figurine, and a chapel on each one from 2014. If you want to check when your Precious Moments were made, a full list of symbols can be found here. Many are religious markings, since the creator, Sam Butcher, used his art to express his personal Christian faith.

2. Each year, certain designs are retired — and that could make their value shoot up.

Approximately 25 to 40 designs are created each year and 12 to 20 are retired. Get them before they’re gone because once they are, many designs instantly become more valuable. In some instances, retired designs have come back into production in response to vocal customers’ pleas. This one, which is meant to comfort parents whose children have passed away, was originally retired in 2007 and is now back on shelves.

3. Collectors say “God Loveth A Cheerful Giver” is the most valuable design.​​

Want one? You’re going to have to pony up. Collectors say its worth anywhere between $300 and $600 (and a quick eBay search concurs). The design is one of the “Original 21” — the first collection of Precious Moments figurines ever produced, which hardcore collectors go crazy over. This particular design, a girl giving away free puppies, was retired in 1981.

​4. Only one of the “Original 21” is still available.

“Love One Another” was the first drawing every made by Sam Butcher. It was inspired by his daughter Tammy sitting on a stump with her uncle. The figurine is available for purchase here (and it’s super sweet!).

5. There is a seriously elaborate Precious Moments attraction inspired by the Sistine Chapel.​

Sam Butcher hardly just crafted cute figurines. He also created the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri. Inspired by Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Butcher designed and p​ainted over 5,000 square feet of murals inside, all featuring Precious Moments characters. And yes, it’s exactly as amazing as it sounds.

There are several “Chapel Exclusive” figurines that can only be purchased in the gift shop. If you’re looking for a unique road trip stop, the chapel and park are open to visitors year round.

6. At the height of its popularity, the Precious Moments Collectors Club had over 500,000 members. ​

The club let people track their collection online, offered exclusive membership figurines and sent a quarterly Precious Moments magazine. Proving that the PM craze is mostly over, today the club only has 30,000 members.​

7. ​In 1998, the Chicago Tribune reported that more than 2 million wedding cakes had been topped with Precious Moments bride and groom figurines.​

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They even have Disney-themed wedding toppers, if you need a double-dose of adorableness on your cake.

8. The company made animated, seasonal television specials.

Anyone remember curling up on the couch to watch one? All of the shows had religious themes and were released around Christian holidays. The first, Timmy’s Gift, was a 1991 Christmas Special in which a young boy follows a star to the newborn Jesus.​

9. Limited editions will cost you a pretty penny.

Limited edition figurines are available for a short amount of time and generally only 3,000 copies of the design are made. They typically cost between $150 and $250, although one is currently for sale for $975.​ Better start saving!

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10. ​A limited edition figurine was created to honor a Missouri teen who died in 2010.

Only 1,200 “I Believe” figurines​ were made and they could only be purchased at a collectibles store in her hometown of Shelbina. Her family hoped the figurines would serve as a reminder of the lives touched by the 17-year-old girl.

11. ​In 2013, the family of a Missouri woman donated her 2,000-piece Precious Moments collection to a cancer organization after her death.​

​The Breast Cancer Organization of the Ozarks, who received the donation, estimated that it could be worth $100,000.

 

~~ORIGINAL TEXT can be found here: http://www.countryliving.com/shopping/antiques/a36587/precious-moments-facts/ ~~

Our House Decorated For Halloween

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20151007_191844-1 20151007_191921-1I always enjoy this time of year – in close succession I can decorate for Halloween then Thanksgiving and right on to Christmas and then even a short time to Easter. I grew up with a Mom who left no corner of the home not touched by whatever holiday was coming up. I want to pass this down to my Daughter Aurora – I want her to have these wonderful memories of the holidays surrounded with fantastical creatures from ghosts, Santa to pilgrims, turkeys and the Easter Bunny along with everything in between.I didn’t get it all put up this year (only two thirds) as having an eighteen month puts challenges up for decorating since she always wants to touch and pull.

I really enjoy the aspect of blow ups and have them now for almost any holiday. I get ones that are mainly upright and around four feet so they can sit on top of the entertainment unit or other service with little interruption to things in our everyday use. Up his year I have my very first blow up Mr. Frankenstein. I also started out with the eight foot stacked skull and a pumpkin with ghosts pouring out – but my little one got scarred of it and we had to get something she could relate to more so Hello Kitty vampire is in its place.

The tree is new (well not really new as I have had it for about a year and haven’t used it since I got it on after holiday sales). This is an all wrought iron design about eight foot tall. It makes for an interesting tree and now that I have had it up I want the white version of it for Easter or other holiday. Ornaments range from wooden coffins that open, skulls, bats, spiders, crows, pumpkins, skeletons, gravestones. Most of these I had acquired over the years – old light strings with the push on figures were converted to ornaments. Skeleton garlands were cut down (bought at dollar store) and made into ornaments, clip on crows are light activated and other odds and ends. Then we put on Halloween garlands and added a strobe light to the bottom shining up which gives awesome designs on our two floor high ceiling.

Now I am a big collector of animated figures and have several hundred when adding them from different holidays. All of what you see on the shelves (which I made to accommodate them) are push button or lever controlled animated figures. I have ones that go back over a decade. Some have not made it that well over the years but I glue or screw em back together the best I can.

Behind the tree I have Halloween nutcrackers (Mickey, Minnie, Day of the Dead bride and groom, Frankenstein, witch,skeleton and vampire). These are hard to come by so I grab them early when I see them. Some can be found at Michael’s but I have also located unique ones at CVS so you never know where you might find them. My suggestion for any holiday collectible you want is to go early and buy it when you see it since these items are time sensitive and usually once they are gone they are just gone.

What do you do for Halloween in your home? What holiday collectibles do you collect? Have any budget friendly diy projects for holiday decorating? Send the ideas and/or photos in – I may just make a post to show your information off with accredited information and a link if you like.