How To Never Ever Get Stuck Searching For A Gift!

Having read all about the background of willow tree figurines, you might well be wondering whether you really can find one to give as a gift for an upcoming occasion, or is it all just hype? The range is incredibly versatile – we think this comes down to the fact that unlike other ornaments or art work, you are not tied to whether the receiver is able to connect with the ‘person’ portrayed, these are universal symbols of human sentiment. There is no ‘person’ to like or dislike, more a human form with subtle nuances of warming emotions. This page explains the type of gifts perfect for family and friends, weddings, civil partnerships and anniversaries, special occasions, thank you or sympathy gifts and finally Christmas gifts. This quick guide could help give you some affordable yet brilliant  ideas for that special gift or for adding to your own collection in ways you might not have thought of.

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Family and friends

There are many figurines featuring family relationships – mother and daughter, mother and son, father and daughter, father and son, grandparents and individual children. The pieces include up to three characters and directly express aspects of those relationships. There is a special collection  for Mothers Day gifts called the Garden of Roses, which features a sculpted ‘wooden’ cupboard for placing up to 6 seated child figurines in.  You could also try angels for family and friends and not just in the Christmas season; the Christmas collection also features some animals, which could be handy for your friends who’ve just moved to the countryside.

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Wedding Gifts

There are pieces which are specially designed for celebrating either weddings or wedding anniversaries, such as the ‘Promise’ minature figurine cake topper which you can place onto the wedding cake itself. However don’t forget that you may also find some of the figurines outside this dedicated range are also entirely suitable as engagement, wedding or wedding anniversary gifts – for example, the ‘Happiness’ figure or an angel might be a great for engagement gifts. Some of the figurines will also work well as gifts for those choosing not to marry in these modern times, and we think individual figurines could be combined  beautifully for civil partnerships or gay marriage gifts, or later anniversary celebrations.

One of the factors that probably explain the success of the figurines is their sheer adaptability – there are many occasions that they seem to encapsulate the spirit of. Americans could confidently find a figurine for the 4th of July celebrations and thanksgiving. You could choose a joyful figure for those who’ve passed exams – driving tests, work tests, or landing a promotion.

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There are figurines you can gift to friend, particularly useful for when you want a thank you gift that lasts longer than simply flowers or chocolates. The range also includes suitable figures for student graduation gifts, and also for parents whose children are staring education at any age. Some of the figurines would also make a subtle statement in sympathy, perhaps during bereavement.

There’s a full range of angels which work well for many faiths or even for those who do not hold a particular defined religion in their household. Remember angels are a symbol which functions both within and outside the symbolisms of faiths.

For people who keep Christmas, there are special nativity figurines including Mary and Joseph against a specially designed backdrop of stable doors called the Sanctuary. Animals available include a donkey, sheep, ox and goat. There are also angels and other traditional Christmas ornaments you can add to the nativity collection to make a fuller display.

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So for people in every walk of life, there will be a figurine, or figurines that you could choose as a really welcome gift – if you’re collecting, make a pact with a friend to buy a suprise figurine for each other at regular intervals to grow your collection in a really interesting way. You’d be surprised what you’ll end up with that you might never think of for yourself, but could grow to love! There are some pieces with are universal enough to give to those you need a more neutral gift for, such as your children’s teachers, or a work colleague for a secret santa gift. You now have an overview of the versatility of the range and some more ideas for how to choose one by thinking outside the box a little or interesting ways you can develop your own collection in.

By Kathy Ponsonby

The Lowdown On Where to Buy Willow Tree Figurines

No matter where you are in the world, you can find a great price on Willow Tree figurines for yourself or for a special gift occasion. This page explains the pros and cons of worldwide EBay sellers, other sources, information on the older pieces and tips on shipping without breakages. This will help you track down a good price and ship safely for a delightful gift no matter where you’re reading this from.

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As well as the official stockists, wherever you are in the world there is bound to be an EBay seller who will ship to you. The beauty of this art is it is hand sculpted in clay then painstakingly reproduced in resin. This means it will ship more safely to locations worldwide, unlike the many risks associated with shipping traditional porcelain figurines. EBay now has an entire subcategory for Willow Tree figurines and also gives the choice to buy brand new figurines or pre-loved ones, perhaps further lowering your costs.

The downside of the strategy is obvious – you may not be able to find the full range online of course, in which case the official Willow Tree website carries details of official stockists in the USAS, Canada, the UK & Ireland, France, New Zealand and Australia. For lucky UK customers, there are more stores online selling the figurines. If you’re happy to carry on bargain hunting however, try local classifieds online – these are collectable figures and you may well find one on sale in your local area. There are also now even one or two enthusiast forums online that may be able to point you in the right direction.

Earlier figurines are now changing hands on specialist figurine collector sites and of course on EBay around the world. A snapshot of prices ranged from $30 to $5 for individual figurines, with sets coming in more towards (or over $100). We suggest you stick to searches with words like ‘collectables’ rather than ‘vintage’ as they’re too contemporary to have entered the antiques   – even though retired, these are firmly contemporary art pieces. Beware of anyone trying to pass one off as vintage – remember the line was started in 2000 and as such should not really be included in any credible vintage dealer’s figurines inventory.

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One thing to bear in mind is while these superb gifts are not as precarious to ship as porcelain, they are sadly  still capable of breakages. When you are sending them try packing them with extra tissue paper gently around exposed fingers of any protruding features, with bubble wrap layers inside a strong cardboard box. Then place the cardboard box inside another one and fill in the spaces with bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Don’t’ use newspaper next to the figurines as the newsprint can run and ruin them. When you’re packing, imagine the box will be used as both a football and a table and you kind of have an idea of what sometimes goes on behind the scenes at shipping companies – despite your scrawled marker pen ‘fragile’ on the packaging!

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Given that the figurines are all about universal appeal, its no suprise that people all over the world are falling in love with them. Whilst there are stores you can walk in and have a look at them up close in, its equally true there’s a roaring online trade, probably due to their less fragile nature than china, glass or porcelain. So don’t despair if you don’t live in a country with an official stockist,  a little reading here can help you check the shipper is packaging them properly before you buy and avoid getting charged unreasonable prices for shady resellers claiming they are somehow vintage or antique – these are more contemporary and you shouldn’t have to pay through the nose for one.

By Kathy Ponsonby & Phillip Jeffreys