Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blue star

This was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but it somehow got lost in the holiday hoopla. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as a late penguin ornament. It’s always Christmas here at My Penguin Tree, however this penguin is the end of the line, at least for now. I don’t have any more ornaments to write about and I don’t think there’ll be any more until we get closer to Christmas again. I’m happy to have a nice ornament like this as the last one, because it’ll be what everyone sees when they come to the blog over the coming months. I have big plans for this ornament. It’s going to look great at the top of the blue tree next Christmas.

Metal star with penguin and cardinal
Acquired: January 25, 2012
Number: 1058
Size: 3.5 inches tall
Price: gift from Jen Babaz and Evan Holt

Monday, February 20, 2012

Now we’re cooking

On the way out of the Christmas Loft in Shelburne, Vt., I found one more penguin. This was a fun store with lots of hidden penguins scattered oddly all on one side of the store. The penguin chef is my third Annalee ornament. You can see the others and read more about the series here and here.

Annalee chef
Acquired: January 20, 2012, Christmas Loft, Shelburne, Vt.
Number: 1057
Size: 4 inches tall
Price: $14.99

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blue bell

This ornament was on display with a bunch of other baby ornaments. Its label said it’s a snowman ornament, but anyone can see it’s a penguin. It’s harder to see that the body is actually a big jingle bell. Maybe I’ll have a musical tree next Christmas. If not, there’ll be plenty of room on the blue tree.

Baby blue jingle bell penguin
Acquired: January 20, 2012, Christmas Loft, Shelburne, Vt.
Number: 1056
Size: 4.25 inches tall
Price: $5.99

Friday, February 17, 2012

Year of the trains

This ornament became an instant favorite in my collection. There’s just something about trains. A few months earlier I bought a handcar that was supposed to be part of a Hallmark train set, but that was the closest I ever came to finding a penguin train ornament. Also, I had no electric train for any of my trees and I doubt that I’ll ever find a penguin train, but I’ve wanted a train for as long as I can remember. However, my friend Marshall was showing me his train layout a few weeks ago, he gave me an HO trolley just like the trolley that was next to my entry in last year’s Festival of Trees. It turned out that the trolley at the museum had a special meaning, which you can read about on this link. So, with my new model trolley and no track for me to run it, I went online. I didn’t exactly find track, but instead an entire Florida Marlins train set. There’s no penguin connection there, but the Fish, now the Miami Marlins, are my other passion. None of this happened until after Christmas, but I set everything up and played with the trolley and train for a few days before everything had to be stored away until next year.

Here's the trolley, and here comes the train:

Santa train ornament
Acquired: January 20, 2012, Christmas Loft, Shelburne, Vt.
Number: 1055
Size: 4 inches long
Price: $4.99

Christmas Loft, Santa, Vemont

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Radko madness

The Christmas Loft in Shelburne, Vt., was winding down from the Christmas season when I visited last month. In fact, it was inventory time and the owner was happy to see these three Christopher Radko ornaments go. “Now I won’t have to count them,” he said. I was glad to help out. By the way, anybody notice they all have snowmen? Yeah, strange.

Christopher Radko Banner Buddies
Acquired: January 20, 2012, Christmas Loft, Shelburne, Vt.
Number: 1052
Size: 4.5 inches tall
Price: $49.99

Christopher Radko Frosty Fellows
Acquired: January 20, 2012, Christmas Loft, Shelburne, Vt.
Number: 1053
Size: 5.75 inches tall
Price: $49.99

Christopher Radko Ice Cube Companions
Acquired: January 20, 2012, Christmas Loft, Shelburne, Vt.
Number: 1054
Size: 7.5 inches tall
Price: $52.99

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I brake for penguins

A new route to Stowe, Vt., for a ski trip in January took me by the Christmas Loft in Shelburne. Stowe used to have a small Christmas Loft store, but it closed a few years ago, so I was looking forward to finding the big store. Or course, I didn’t know what it looked like, so it came up quickly and I almost drove past it. As it turns out, the store was closed, so I had to go back a couple of days later. It was the trip. I came away with seven new penguin ornaments, including this ornament with a group of penguins holding a banner. You’re supposed to have these ornaments personalized, but I usually don’t put anything on them. I ought to put the year on it, I guess.

Penguin group holding white banner
Acquired: January 20, 2012, Christmas Loft, Shelburne, Vt.
Number: 1051
Size: 4 inches wide
Price: $8.99

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


On a trip last month to Jim Thorpe, Pa., I tried once more to visit a shop that seems to be always closed. Sure enough, it was closed again, but this time, a new gift shop on the floor below was open. The owners had a few discounted Christmas things on display, but no penguins. When I told them what I was looking for they dug this gourd ornament from a storage tub. The store upstairs remains a mystery, but for once, I didn’t come away empty-handed.

Painted penguin by Jessie Geesey from Meadowbrooke Gourds, Carlisle, Pa.
Acquired: January 6, 2012, Jim Thorpe, Pa.
Number: 1050
Size: 5.5 inches tall
Price: $12.95

Monday, February 13, 2012

Christmas village

On the way home from a New Year’s Day trip to Philadelphia for the Mummers’ Parade, I decided to go a little out of the way to visit Koziar’s Christmas Village, a seasonal attraction for more than 60 years near Reading, Pa. I found out about the place a couple of years ago and I’ve been trying to visit ever since. The village is a family farm that is covered with decorations. Visitors follow a path through various displays. Scattered around are gift shops and snack concessions where I found several penguin ornaments.

Penguin “cookie” Ganz magnet ornament with red and green scarf and green hat
Acquired: January 1, 2012, Koziar’s Christmas Village snack shop, Bernville, Pa.
Number: 1046
Size: 3 inches tall
Price: $5.98

Two penguin heads on silver jingle bells with Santa hat, he with white bow tie, she with holly accent
Acquired: January 1, 2012, Koziar’s Christmas Village gift shop, Bernville, Pa.
Number: 1047 1048
Size: 2 inches tall
Price: $1.98 each

Ganz plush li’l penguin with red-bowed wreath around neck
Acquired: January 1, 2012, Koziar’s Christmas Village gift shop, Bernville, Pa.
Number: 1049
Size: 5 inches tall
Price: $6.98

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Down to the wire

I ducked away from my group a second time to buy penguin ornaments on the trip to New York City after Christmas that I talked about in yesterday’s post. I had to go get my overnight bag and then meet my friends at Penn Station for the ride home. On the way, I went by a very cool gift shop that always has a penguin or two at Christmas time. I knew I wouldn’t be back for a while, so I stopped in to buy these three ornaments. I made it to the station and bought a ticket minutes before the train was leaving and, thanks to cell phones, met up with the group again as they were getting on the train. Somewhere along the way, I lost the receipt, and I don’t remember how much they were. In all, the overnight trip to the city gave me seven ornaments, a pretty good haul.

Alpaca knit min penguins with green hat and orange and red striped hat made in Peru
Acquired: December 28, 2011, Arcadia, Chelsea, New York City, N.Y.
Number: 1043 1044
Size: 3.5 inches tall
Price: ??

Alpaca black and white striped little jailbird penguin
Acquired: December 28, 2011, Arcadia, Chelsea, New York City, N.Y.
Number: 1045
Size: 5 inches tall
Price: ??

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bargain bin

I was in New York City with friends and their relatives from Brazil. I sort of became the guide and led the group on a winding tour from Penn Station to Times Square, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Central Park and back again. One of our stops was Saks Fifth Avenue, where some of the group wanted to look at dresses and shoes. I took the opportunity to go upstairs to the post-Christmas bargains and I found a couple of penguin ornaments. The Christopher Radko glass penguin is an exclusive design for Saks. You never see the Radkos on sale, but Saks must have had hundreds loosely piled in the bargain bins. The detail on this ornament is amazing, especially the holly wrapping paper in the gift bag. 

The knit ornament reminded me of another one I bought in New Mexico. I was desperately trying to look it up on my phone at the checkout line, but I reached the counter before I was able to find the ornament on the blog. It turned out to be the same as ornament No. 701 only smaller and, therefore, not an exact duplicate. When I was packing up this year I noticed a tag that gave the name of the person who knitted the penguin. For some reason, I didn’t write that down in my notes. I’ll try to come back and update when I unpack next Christmas.

Saks Penny Pal by Christopher Radko glass in Santa suit with candy cane and “Merry Christmas 2011” on blue toy bag
Acquired: December 28, 2011, Saks Fifth Avenue, New York City, N.Y.
Number: 1041
Size: 3.5 inches tall
Price: $18 (60 percent off $45)

Poca a Poco furry haired knit penguin from Albuquerque, N.M.
Acquired: December 28, 2011, Saks Fifth Avenue, New York City, N.Y.
Number: 1042
Size: 3 inches tall
Price: $7.20 (60 percent off $18)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I found these miniature versions of Millicent and Thaddeus, a couple of my favorite ornaments, on a leisurely trip to New York City after Christmas. While everyone else went into a coffee shop when we stopped to stretch our legs, I ducked into a gift shop and found a few Christmas bargains. The small picture compares the two Millicents and you can see more about the original ornaments by clicking on the link in the first sentence.

Mini Millicent and Thaddeus by Patience Brewster
Acquired: December 27, 2011, Thistle, Frenchtown, N.J.
Number: 1039 1040
Size: 3.5 inches tall
Price: $19.95 for two (50 percent off)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Surprise inside

This is a really nice ornament, but the best part about it was the dark chocolate nonpareils inside. Mmmm.

Candy tin
Acquired: December 26, 2011
Number: 1038
Size: 4 inches tall
Price: gift from my sister and brother-in-law, Xena and John Galietti

Sunday, February 5, 2012


This penguin came with a platter full of goodies, and it looks good enough to eat with a coating of its own that seems sugary sweet.

Little, glittery snowball juggler
Acquired: December 26, 2011
Number: 1037
Size: 2.25 inches tall
Price: gift from my sister and brother-in-law, Xena and John Galietti

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Silver beauty

I only got one penguin on Christmas Day, but there were other presents that came early or late. This was one of several from my sister and brother-in-law who came to visit the day after. Its sparkly coating really captures the light. It makes me wonder if I have enough ornaments like it to pull off and silver and gold tree. We’ll see next year.

Silver glittery glass penguin
Acquired: December 26, 2011
Number: 1036
Size: 4 inches tall
Price: gift from my sister and brother-in-law, Xena and John Galietti

Friday, February 3, 2012

Christmas crystal

Penguin ornaments poured in as Christmas approached, but this is the only one that came on Christmas Day. It’s from my good friends, the Babaz family, who found it at the Skytop Lodge gift shop where two of them work. It’s also one of my favorite local places, especially around the holidays when they construct a huge gingerbread house in the lobby and decorate the halls with dozens of Christmas trees.

Crystal penguin from Skytop Lodge gift shop
Acquired: December 25, 2011
Number: 1035
Size: 4 inches tall
Price: gift from the Babaz family

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A sweet score

I'm usually not looking for anything specific when I shop for penguin ornaments, but I had been trying to find Pittsburgh Penguin candy cane ornaments for years. Sure, I could probably have looked for them on the internet, but that takes some of the fun out of collecting. Besides, I often browse for penguin ornaments just to see what's out there and I never stumbled upon these online. So, I had an extra bus ticket from my final monthly commuting pass and decided to ride into New York before the ticket expired just to have a fun no-work day in the city. Also, I wanted to mail my Christmas cards from the United Nations post office and keep my annual tradition going at least one more year. On the way back to Times Square I discovered the NHL store and I saw the ornaments through a window.

Six plastic Pittsburgh penguin candy cane ornaments
Acquired: December 20, 2011, Reebok NHL store, New York City, N.Y>
Number: 1029 through 1034
Size: 5 inches tall
Price: $18/set

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

‘Tis the season

I even get penguin ornaments as Christmas presents. Imagine that. It always amazes me that people are able to find penguins that I haven’t bought already or haven’t even seen at the stores. This penguin, dressed as Santa with a chick in what looks like it might be an elf’s vest, was the first official Christmas present last year. It's from my sister Gale and it came with instructions to open before Christmas.

Greenbriar International penguin with chick in red coat and Santa hat
Acquired: December 20, 2011
Number: 1028
Size: 4 inches tall
Price: gift from my sister Gale Vincent West

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lights out

So Pier 1 was out of the famous penguin ornament from the store’s ad campaign, but the clerk said, “We do have this one.” It almost sounded like she was apologizing. When she held up this ornament to show me, I almost fell over. It’s got a unique shape and incredible style. I don’t even remember what that other ornament looked like.

Light bulb shaped white frosted glass penguin with black beak, red hat
Acquired: December 19, 2011, Pier 1, Stroudsburg, Pa.
Number: 1027
Size: 5 inches tall
Price: $12.95

Sunday, January 22, 2012

There’s always another one

“We don’t have the one you’re looking for,” was the first thing out of the Pier 1 clerk’s mouth when I asked about penguins. Maybe you saw the chain store’s tv and print ads that featured a really nice looking penguin ornament. Little did she know that I’m not so fussy when it comes to which penguins I get and which ones I don’t get. The one from the ads was sold out, but I didn’t leave the store empty handed. Even though I have several ornaments like this one, it’s still a bright addition to my penguin tree, especially with it’s changing colored lights. But wait, there’s more. Tune in tomorrow.

Light up particle ball with green knit hat
Acquired: December 19, 2011, Pier 1, Stroudsburg, Pa.
Number: 1026
Size: 6 inches tall
Price: $5.95

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The ugly truth

My friends Jen and Evan had an ugly Christmas sweater. The idea was to put as much junk that would fit on a sweater, then we voted on the best (worst) three. Jen even made Christmas ornament trophies for the winners. When I placed third, we had to add a penguin to my ornament so it would be legit for my penguin tree.

Red third place glass ball from ugly Christmas sweater party
Acquired: December 18, 2011
Number: 1025
Size: 2.5 inches tall
Price: priceless

Friday, January 20, 2012


Before leaving Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem, I found a couple more penguins. The woman at the booth was meticulously personalizing a couple of other ornaments for another customer when I brought mine to the counter. She seemed almost relieved that I didn’t need an inscription. I was tempted though, because she was doing a very good job. It’s possible that I have the name of the shop wrong, but I was trying to figure it out after the fact using a sketchy diagram of the fair. I’ll probably go back next year and try to double check.

Two flat, painted wood penguins with blue hat and scarf and red hat and scarf
Acquired: Dec. 18, 2012, Wild Duck Pottery, Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem, Pa.
Number: 1023 1024
Size: 5 inches tall
Price: $7 each

Thursday, January 19, 2012


These two treasures came from one of the booths at Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem, Pa. Either I lost the receipt or never had one because I paid for them in cash. I think they might have been $18 to $20 each and certainly worth it. 
Christkindlmarkt was set up on the grounds of the old steel mill in Bethlehem, where they are establishing an arts complex. Christkindlmarkt was in a couple of tent-like structures and the open space between and around them. 

Inside were lots of Christmas and other items, including a Käthe Wohlfahrt shop from Germany and a Coca-Cola polar bear house made of Coke cartons with a Sprite carton Christmas tree inside. 
Outside, were glass-blowing and ice sculpture demonstrations and a garden of ice creations, including a pair of penguins.

Uzbekistan needle painted round ornament with fishing penguin and fish
Acquired: December 18, 2011, Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem, Pa.
Number: 1021
Size: 2.5 inches in diameter
Price: no receipt

Uzbekistan needle painted egg-shaped ornament with two big penguins and distant march
Acquired: December 18, 2011, Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem, Pa.
Number: 1022
Size: 3.5 inches tall
Price: no receipt