Hallmark: Can you believe that this year brings the 40th ornament in our Nostalgic Houses and Shops series? This iconic series is one of the longest running ones in our history—which started in 1984 with the Victorian Dollhouse.

After Don Palmiter retired, Tom Best and Rodney Gentry took over this beloved series to release last year’s Bicycle Shop. And, for 2023, they’re releasing this amazing piece that was designed after one of the homes in Tom’s old neighborhood.

Tom Best

Tom: “I went back to my old Kansas City neighborhood I lived in for 30 years,” Tom told us. “It’s an area of town that was built up between 1910 and 1920. It’s filled with Tudors of every size and shape. It’s impossible to find any two that are the same, and they have so much character.

Hallmark: According to Tom, his role was to come up with the building concept, design, color, and details. From there, Rodney developed the structure of it with a 3D modeling program on the computer. Coming up with the concept, however, proved to be quite a task.

Tom: “The hardest part was choosing ‘the one’,” according to Tom. “After several tours through the neighborhood, I took about a million photographs and had about the same number of ideas for what this year’s ornament should be. Though Rodney and I, along with our art director Charles Young, narrowed it down.

Hallmark: One of the most important elements of this collection is how uniquely different each one must be year after year. And with a series this vast, that job can become more and more challenging. But our Keepsake artists are always up to the task, as Tom reminded us of when he told us that #41 was nearly finished as well.

As for this year’s ornament, a retired Tom reflected on his role in this Keepsake Ornament series proudly. “Rodney and I are quite happy with how this one, and the others we’ve created, turned out. We were happy to take over Don’s vision and hope you like where it’s going. Look for more to come as Don Palmiter’s township grows…stretching the city limits of your tree.

Nostalgic Houses and Shops
40th in the series.

Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. “Behind the scenes with Tom Best about the 40th ornament in our Nostalgic Houses and shops series that will be releasing at Ornament Premiere” Keepsake Ornament Club Facebook Page, January 12, 2023. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2330268633879814