You know me as the person behind the membership dues, questions, and the weekly announcements.
One of my passions over the past forty-four years has been collecting Christmas tree ornaments. Yes, I started as a junior in high school as we hosted the Christmas dance for the senior class. Those of us on the planning committee had to travel to Pittsburgh PA to a giant warehouse to choose the decorations for the gala.
Once I crossed the threshold of this wonderland, all Christmas from ceiling to floor and acres and acres, I was hooked on all things Christmas. That day, my collecting began.
I was married in August of 1987, and besides all the excitement of the wedding celebrations, I had another life changing experience when I joined the Hallmark Ornament Collector’s Club as a charter member. I so proudly completed the application, wrote the check, and mailed the membership form in the airport in Los Angles as we awaited our final flight for our honeymoon.
Each year, I looked forward to sending my membership dues, receiving the catalog of new ornaments each spring, and would carefully plan my purchases for that Christmas. Oh, the excitement!
After we purchased our home, I went to work planning to put a tree in every room and of course they would have themes. There was the dog tree, the Wizard of Oz room, Santa’s of course, everything sports, birds, snowmen, Crayola, Star Trek/Star Wars, candy, religious and miscellaneous. All the trees were 5 feet or more, so I would start decorating in September. What did not go on a tree, went on a wreath, Winnie the Pooh, bunnies, fairies, horses, houses, elves, total Christmas on every surface from basement to attic.
I have scaled back on the decorations mainly because we ran out of storage space and my poor husband had to crawl into the attic to retrieve the multiple storage containers and put them back when finished. All these years he has faithfully done the “Christmas Crawl.”
He supported my addiction as we traveled all over the country for ornament shows, conventions, and open houses, as we went to every Hallmark Ornament event ever planned for years.
This year, I wondered why my membership premium ornaments had not arrived by July. So odd, I thought, maybe they arrived and with all the excitement of being “sprung from the Covid cocoon,” I tucked them in a special place. Looked high and low -nothing. I called Hallmark to learn what could have delayed delivery I mean they usually arrive in March; it was July.
Imagine my complete shock when I learned that it was not an issue with Hallmark, it was me! I did not renew my membership! What! How could I have missed it? Now, all the membership are sold out and I cannot rejoin until 2022. ACK! A lapse in my membership, after a perfect thirty-three-year record!
After beating myself up for weeks, I realized how many things I did miss over the past year. It’s been like coming back from suspended animation. I know that I am not alone in this “suspension syndrome” - many IFVP embers have been reaching out to learn the status of their membership and wondering why their profile is not working. Many members don’t realize that their membership has lapsed over the past year, and I understand completely!
We will be reaching out to lapsed members over the next few weeks, just a gentle reminder. I wish Hallmark would have sent me a gentle reminder!
Also, if you are not sure when your membership is due check your profile. If you are still an active member, you will now see “ABOUT YOUR MEMBERSHIP” and it lists your status, expiration date and how long you have been a member. Or just contact me directly at launa@IFVP.org and I will be happy to get back to you, in fact, I would love to hear from membership!
There is a lot coming up in the next few months, regional meetups, membership surveys. OLS, our 2021 Annual General Meeting and some important announcements for 2022! You will want to make sure your membership is current!