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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Star of wonder

I finally made it to the annual Christkindlmarkt in Bethleham, Pa., a crafts festival based on German traditions. Not only did I get a lot of Christmas shopping done, but I also found some Christmas goodies for myself, including this nice glass penguin from my old friend Käthe Wohlfahrt, the big Christmas shop empire from Germany. The ornament has her trademark shooting star emblem attached at the top. You can see some of the treasures I found on a visit a couple of years ago by clicking here. You have to go through a few posts to see them all. And stay tuned for more from Bethlehem’s Christkindlmarkt in the next few posts.

Käthe Wohlfahrt glass penguin with tree
Acquired: December 18, 2011, Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem, Pa.
Number: 1020
Size: 3.5 inches tall
Price: $8.62

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Double the fun

When I got these ornament as gifts, I was hoping that they weren’t duplicates of some I bought several years ago, but that wasn’t the case. Not that I mind getting duplicate ornaments. The other S’mores ornament I bought was one of several from a baseball trip to Missouri, but the new one is the only one from a good colleague and friend. The other snowman ornament is like one that I found in a drugstore near where I live, but this one came from my sister and brother-in-law who showed up with his parents at one of my retirement celebrations.

Midwest CBK S’mores snowman
Acquired: December 14, 2011
Number: 1018
Size: 2.5 inches tall
Price: gift from colleague, Karen, my last week at work

Snowman on a sled with two penguins in red and blue hats
Acquired: December 14, 2011
Number: 1019
Size: 3.5 inches tall
Price: gift from my sister Xena and brother-in-law John at retirement celebration

Monday, January 16, 2012

Big blue

It’s a big ornament, but I’ll always find room for another blue penguin at My Penguin Tree, especially one decked out with a holly boutonniere.

Blue knit penguin with holly boutonniere
Acquired: December 10, 2011, Kmart, Mount Pocono, Pa.
Number: 1017
Size: 6.5 inches tall
Price: $2.39 (originally $3.99)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Where’s the penguin?

From the front it doesn’t look like a penguin ornament, but spin the Snowbaby around on her sled disk and you’ll see she has a passenger.

Wait. Is that a speck of dirt on my computer screen? Oh, it’s just the little penguin’s itty bitty eye. This is my third Snowbabies ornament. Click here and here to see the others.

Snowbabies In a Spin
Acquired: Dec. 9, 2011, Boscov’s department store, Steamtown Mall, Scranton, Pa.
Number: 1016
Size: 2.25 inches tall
Price: $15.50

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Early bargains

I was surprised when I took this ornament and the parachutist from yesterday’s post to the checkout counter and found out how cheap they were. Christmas was still weeks away, but the ornaments and other decorations were all marked down from an already marked down price. Nice.

Black glittery body, red top hat, red and yellow candy cane, bow tie, red and blue buttons
Acquired: December 9, 2011, Bon Ton, Steamtown Mall, Scranton, Pa.
Number: 1015
Size: 4.5 inches tall
Price: $3.84 (double markdown of 60 and 20 percent from $12)

Friday, January 13, 2012


I added about 140 penguin ornaments to the collection this season, but I don’t think any of them are more fun than this one.

Living Quarters red glittery parachute
Acquired: December 9, 2011, Bonton, Steamtown Mall, Scranton, Pa.
Number: 1014
Size: 7 inches tall
Price: $3.20 (double markdown of 60 and 20 percent from $10)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jingle bells . . . all the way

This is where I get into trouble. I was in the local Lowe's looking for some practical household items, but I couldn't help stopping by the Christmas decorations department. They had a display of these penguin jingle bell ornaments with about 20 different varieties of penguins celebrating different walks of life, like motherhood, golfing, nursing, beach bumming, etc. I tried to stick with the most generic Christmas themes, but I couldn't resist the cowboy.

Eight jingle bell penguins, three with green hats, 2 with red hats, 1 with earmuffs, 1 with top hat, 1 cowboy
Acquired: December 9, 2012, Lowe's, Bartonsville, Pa.
Number: 1006 through 1013
Size: 2.5 inches tall
Price: $2.97 each

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Light lite

Here’s an ornament I picked up after I finished setting up the tree at the trolley museum last month. I’ve got some others like it, but I like the smaller size of this one.

Small, red changing-light ball, penguin and tree inside
Acquired: December 4, 2011, JC Penney, Viewmont Mall, Scranton, Pa.
Number: 1004
Size: 3 inches tall
Price: $4.99 (originally $9.99)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Unfinished business

Christmas came, Christmas went, and we never got around to this ornament kit that makes two penguins. There wasn’t time for everything and it’s too late to renumber all the other new ornaments, but I think we’ll save the project for next Christmas.

Foam cutout craft kit skating penguins
Acquired: November 25, 2011, Target, Lower Nazareth, Pa.
Number: 1001 1002
Size: 5 inches tall
Price: $2/set

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pushup pop penguin top

I’ve never had a pushup pop before and I’m not sure what it is, but my guess is that it’s a lollipop in a plastic tube. For me, it’s another penguin ornament, whether or not I ever eat the candy.

Acquired: Weis Market, Tannersville, Pa.
Number: 1003
Size: 5 inches tall
Price: $1.19

Friday, January 6, 2012

Third time’s the charm

I bought four circular penguin ornaments together on a trip to Target, but then found out on the store's website that there was a fifth color in the set. That meant three trips to Target this season just to buy penguin ornaments. Part of the problem was the mysterious rush on penguin ornaments in the stores near where I live. Look at this rack of ornaments at the same Target store where I bought the purple disc ornament. The empty row is where they had the penguins like the one I posted a couple of days ago.

Plenty of ornaments left, but just one penguin. Hmm.

Magenta, blue, green and turquoise Merry Market round, flat penguins with googly eyes
Acquired: November 21, 2011, Target, Stroudsburg, Pa.:
Number: 0994 0995 0996 0997
Size: 4 inches in diameter
Price: $2 each

Purple Merry Market round, flat penguin with googly eyes
Acquired: December 8, 2011, Target, Stroudsburg, Pa.:
Number: 1005
Size: 4 inches in diameter
Price: $2 each

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A trolley from Wilmington

The trolley tree came down today. It was my fourth visit to the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton this season — the setup, opening night, visit with relatives last week and takedown today. On the visit last week, I found out more about the trolley next to the spot that I chose for my entry in the Festival of Trees.

It turns out that Car No. 120 ran from about 1904 to 1929 in Wilmington, Del., where I was born. This means that my grandparents, John Mundell Truitt and Nettie Lee Abbott Truitt, almost certainly rode this trolley or one of its sister cars run by the Delaware Electric Power Company.

Maybe even my mother, Mary Jeannette Truitt Parsons, rode on it as a baby, and certainly her brothers, Lee and Joe Truitt rode it along with Catherine, the sister she never knew. I don’t know how often my father’s parents made it into the city, but they may have been on the trolley too. All I wanted was a spot that would make a good photo with my tree. Looks like I hit the jackpot.

That's my sister Xena taking a picture of my penguin tree in front of the trolley.

Inside looking toward the back of the trolley.

Here's the full story from the Electric City Trolley Museum. Sorry I didn't get a clearer shot.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Set apart

These two penguins each came from a group of six other ornaments, kind of like sets, but sold individually. The clay penguin goes with a Santa, a moose-like reindeer and three different snowmen. The knitted penguin matches an owl, an elephant, a sock-like monkey, a blue jay and a lion. All were nice ornaments, but you know me. Penguins only, please.

Clay penguin with purple knit hat with ear flaps
Acquired: November 21, 2011, Target, Stroudsburg, Pa.:
Number: 0992
Size: 2 inches tall
Price: $3

Knit Merry Market blue penguin, red earmuffs and scarf, green striped body
Acquired: November 21, 2011, Target, Stroudsburg, Pa.:
Number: 0993
Size: 4 inches tall
Price: $2