“All of the critters in this stocking are pets I’ve personally known and loved. The bird is my beloved cockatiel Opie, who lived to the ripe old age of 25. The hamster is Wiley, a friendly little hammie I had in college. The dog was inspired by my sister’s feisty schnauzer, Russell. The kitten has the same sweet face as my niece’s cat, Nala. And as a child, I had a bunny named Thumper that looked just like the bunny in the stocking!”
Nina Aubé’s family didn’t have a fireplace mantel when she was growing up but that didn’t stop them from hanging Christmas stockings. They simply improvised and hung them on their buffet drawer handles! So, creating this first in the Stocking Stuffers series brought back great memories for Nina.
“Upon awakening at the crack of dawn, it was tradition for my two sisters and me to make a beeline for our stockings. We’d immediately start gobbling up the candy inside. There was always a small gift in each stocking, in my case usually a small animal figurine or doll. I adored tiny toys and objects and still do, so perhaps that inspired me to put cute little animals in this ornament. Plus, I love animals, of course!”
Nina hopes the personal connections that inspired her design of this ornament will bring you fond memories of your own traditions that you’ll share those memories with loved ones.
2022 SNEAK PEEK
Stocking Stuffers 2nd in the series.
You can look forward to a different Keepsake artist creating a new Stocking Stuffers ornament for this series every year, adding to the meaning and memories behind each design. Anita Marra Rogers will bring you the second in the series in 2022.
Introducing Gregor Benedetti’s new series, Gnome for Christmas! Featuring playful pals good Gnaughty and Gnice, the series highlights their mischievous antics and festive fun.
“My initial inspiration was to come up with my own unique brand of good storytelling with a little humor sprinkled in. These two characters celebrate Christmas in different but complementary ways. And although all their future festive misadventures, at the end of the day they’ll always know how to sit back, relax and have a good laugh just like all the best, odd couples.”
Gregor also credits members of the Keepsake Ornament Club for inspiring him. “I had my first opportunity to meet the amazing Keepsake fans at the 2019 KOC Convention. Chatting with them and seeing their passion for ornaments influenced me greatly!”
2022 SNEAK PEEK
Gnome for Christmas 2nd in the series.
Here’s a little sneak peek at Gregor’s second ornament in the series, available in 2022.
“It’s my love letter to the fans and club members that I met at the Keepsake event. And keep a look out because coming up with new ideas for this series will be mostly inspired by you in years to come!”
Asshebeganthisseries,Tammyfoundinspirationinthequaint,small-townfeelofNorthKansasCity. “MyhusbandandIlovetakingourboystothe Snake Saturday ParadeinNorthKansasCity. I also lovehowthetowndecoratesforChristmas,soIthoughtaparadeinacutelittleChristmasTownwouldbeafunidea,usingtrucksasawaytotieitalltogether.
Believe it or not, Tom Best says he “floundered” a bit when beginning the design for his 2021 Bear Stein ornament. But he explains “it was only because I had so many things I wanted to include on it! I had piles of research and ideas and truly struggled to edit them down to what would actually fit on an ornament.”
That research is something Tom considers a personal pleasure. “I love history, and beer steins by their very nature are old-world, and harken back to centuries gone by.”
“For this American-themed ornament. I started with the iconic Lady Liberty and James Montgomery Flagg’s famous illustration of Uncle Sam as the hinge character. I put the purple mountain majesty on the back side with amber waves of grain as the handle and design elements. And I used noble North American mammals, an eagle, stars and bars to cover the rest.
The unofficial series has gained a lot of popularity through the years, and Tom says he views it as “one for the fellas.” He also explains, I’m of mostly German heritage and I’m a beer lover, so I come by this series honestly.”
Tom also comes by his love of Christmas honestly and shares his favorite part of it all.
“I love the last week that leads up to Christmas with all its excitement. That said, it’s the quiet, wee hours of Christmas Eve that come to mind. It’s me who ‘lets Santa in’ once everyone is asleep, including the dog. I quietly gather the gifts from their hiding places and arrange them under the heavily ornamented tree. That done, I sit with a glass of spirits with only the tree lights on and Christmas music on low. Cheers and Merry Christmas to all!”
Nina Aubé’s Cookie Cutter Christmas series turns 10 this year, and she has warm memories of what started at all.
“I’ve always loved baking and decorating Christmas cookies for the holidays. I have all of my grandmother’s aluminum cookie cutters that I used as a child, and I still use them. Their nostalgic look and shapes were my inspiration for the series.
As for the little skier in this year’s ornament, Nina says, “I thought it would be fun to have the mouse using skis that look like taffy, which was another childhood favorite of mine. In fact, most of the candy that the mouse uses as everyday objects is inspired by my childhood faves, especially the ‘penny candy’ I loved as a kid. I also have fond memories of learning how to ski in Wisconsin as a child and taking subsequent trips to Colorado as an adult.”
Sweets always figure prominently as props in the series and Nina enjoys researching and buying candy and cookie-shaped treats. And the best part of all that planning?
“Well,” smiles Nina, “I get to eat my research when I’m finished!”
“The snowman silhouette, with it’s vertical shape, worked well as a vehicle to contain the ski scene. Sometimes it’s challenging coming up with a shape that will fit all the design elements I want to include in a particular story, but this one worked really well!”
2022 SNEAK PEEK
Cookie Cutter Christmas 11th in the series.
Nina’s excited about what’s coming next in this series, too.
“For the 2022 ornament, the cookie cutter will be in the shape of a present, and the inside scene will show the little mouse opening gifts on Christmas morning.”
“Cookie Cutter Christmas.” Behind the Designs. 22-23
Sally Disney The Nightmare Before Christmas Collection
Oogie Boogie Disney The Nightmare Before Christmas Collection
Santa Claus Disney The Nightmare Before Christmas Collection
Jack Skellington Disney The Nightmare Before Christmas Collection
Lock, Shock, and Barrel Disney The Nightmare Before Christmas Collection
Here Comes Sandy Claws
Your Storytellers collection gets even more spooky-fun this year with the final additions of Oogie Boogie and Lock, Shock, and Barrel. Unlock more performances and songs excerpts as they interact with Jack Skellington, Sally and Santa Claus to complete the story!
Bedtime Stories Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Sledding Friends Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer®
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
A Holiday Bouquet Frosty the Snowman™
Snow Miser and Heat Miser The Year Without a Santa Claus
Santa’s Sleigh Bell The Polar Express™
Clark’s Crazy Christmas National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The Best-Looking House in Town National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
A Gift from Aunt Bethany National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation