I don't collect much of anything, except for this one thing, dear to my heart: Noah's Ark ornaments, specifically the Hallmark ones. I always have a hard time justifying even this small indulgence because, well, for one, have you seen my tree? It's not like I need more ornaments. And two, providing presents for six children is a financial feat in and of itself, and I feel guilty peeling away any of those funds for something admittedly trivial. But I really love them. I go and see the new release right when it's unveiled towards the end of summer. I get so excited.
I love the story of Noah and the ark, and I believe it to be true, not figurative or symbolic, though, to me, it is rich in personal symbolism. I love the trust God had in Noah, his patience and long-suffering (ultimately in vain) for the people in teaching them and calling them to repentance (I mean, they had more than a hundred years to pull it together!) I love that God taught Noah what he needed to do and how to do it, and that a way was provided for him. I love that the animals obey Him, and I love the cleansing of sin, starting anew. I love how those who loved God were sustained and protected during a difficult time. Even more, I love the miracle of the rainbow and the promise of God. His promises are sure, and I rely on them. I love the beauty of God's promises and the hope they fill me with. All of that is what these little resin ornaments remind me of.
I saw the 2010 ornament in St. George while visiting Amber this past summer. I loved that it was bright blue. I loved the adorableness of the chubby animals, but I couldn't justify $15.95 right at that moment. When I went back to the Hallmark shortly before Christmas, two different stores local to me, they were sold out. I was crushed. I mentioned it on my Facebook page, and an old friend from Show Low, Arizona posted back, "I got it for you! Send me your address."
See? Hope = Miracles.
I couldn't believe it! She wouldn't even accept reimbursement for her thoughtfulness to me, a friend who served in the Relief Society Presidency with her, over ten years ago. When it came, I was in heaven! I am so, so grateful to my friend, Dawn.
Today I took down my Christmas tree. I lined all of my Noah's Ark ornaments up on the table, just because I love them. The bottom three are miscellaneous Noah's Ark ornaments, but the others are all Hallmark. Since I started collecting them, in 1996, just weeks before my Dylan was born (his nursery was Noah's Ark themed), I am only missing one ornament, 2001. (There was no ornament produced in 1997, 1998, or 2002.) Of the entire collection that Hallmark has produced, I am only missing two others: 1988 and 1991, so that's pretty good!
I also have a large wooden Noah's Ark set that sits in my family room, and my mom knitted me a Noah's Ark set as my Christmas gift this year. I love it!
I thought I would share with you some of the cuteness:
I love how different each one is. Every year, I think, "What else could they possibly do with Noah's Ark next year?" And each year, I am so pleasantly delighted.
So, what do you collect, and why does it make you happy?