Byers Choice Carolers

Caroler Chronicle Edition I - 2004



The Conductor Picks Up the Tempo

What could be more appropriate than to start the new year's Chronicle off in song led by our 2004 Conductor. Leading the choir in four-part harmony, this elderly gentleman is dressed in his finest attire for their opening night concert.

The first Conductor designed by Joyce in 1982 was dressed primarily in black with a tall hat and a traditional jacket with tails. He made such an impression that he became a permanent fixture in the line for more than ten years. In 1993, the original Conductor passed his baton along to the Choir Director who led the Caroler choir in song for several more years.

Our new Conductor is ready to pick up where the others left off. Dressed in a blue velvet jacket and burgundy vest, he has not missed a detail from his black bow tie to his gold watch chain. The Conductor even comes complete with his own wooden music stand to help make certain everyone stays in tune!

Christmas Illustrations

Children Gathering Holly is the second piece in our Christmas Illustrations series. For this piece, we invited those who read our newsletter to send pictures of Victorian illustrations or scraps which they felt would make interesting figurines. We received over 1,000 entries.  Not all met our criteria (ex: a contemporary couple in scuba gear), but nonetheless there were hundreds from which to choose. A dozen of our favorites were posted on our website, and visitors overwhelmingly selected the illustration submitted by Jean Campochiaro. This postcard came from Jean's personal collection of illustrations that her mother started her on as a child. She was presented the first prototype piece at Marlborough Barn in Marlborough, CT, one of her favorite stores. Children Gathering Holly was photographed and appeared on our 2003 Christmas card.


Cookie Molds & Ginger Cookies

It's the traditions that we remember. The fresh-cut tree, the stockings on the hearth, the sweet smell of gingerbread -- these are just a few of the cherished holiday customs we never forget.

Discover Traditions by Byers' Choice Ltd., a unique family of merchandise that celebrates the charm, history and joy of the Christmas season. Through their world travels, the Byers family has assembled a distinctive line of traditional Christmas items. Traditions by Byers' Choice Ltd. preserves the recollections of Christmas past while introducing customers to a wealth of new ideas to celebrate the season.

The Byers family discovered woodcarver Oldrich Kvapil's workshop while exploring the back streets of Prague several years ago. They were intrigued by his hand-carved wooden cookie molds. Oldrich comes from a storied tradition of woodcarvers and puppet makers. He is a self-taught carver of gingerbread molds, a lost art that dates back to the 14th century. Today, antique molds, once used by the local baker, can be seen in museums throughout Europe.

Traditions by Byers' Choice Ltd. has commissioned Oldrich to carve a series of molds to bring this special tradition to your Home Page. The Traditions' Cookie Molds feature Christmas scenes in two sizes and make unique, beautiful decorations for around the house, especially the kitchen. Traditions by Byers' Choice Ltd. has also recreated a series of ginger cookies to enhance your holiday decorating. Ask about these unique items at your favorite Byers' Choice retailer.

Dutch Family

The inspiration for this family was the charming Christmas story, "Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates," written by Mary Mapes Dodge in the late 1800's. The clothing worn by the family was interpreted from the illustrations of a very early edition of this work. If you haven't read this children's Christmas story, you may wish to do so. It is still in print. It describes not only a skating competition, but also Christmas in Holland in the 1800's.

Our Dutch Mother holds a replica of a wooden cookie mold which was used for many centuries in Holland as well as other countries in northern Europe. The Boy holds a cookie made from the mold. We sell both the cookie and mold in a larger size. Our Dutch Girl holds silver skates, and her Father holds a wooden shoe filled with Christmas treats.

Colonial Tavern Woman & Baker with Cookie Mold

The Colonial Tavern Woman is making sure all is well for her guests by refilling their wine glasses, replenishing candles and serving them Sally Lunn. Sally Lunn is a delicious bread which is still served in Williamsburg taverns. The recipe for it is in the WILLIAMSBURG cookbook, and with their permission will be shared with our fans in an upcoming newsletter.

The Baker is holding a cookie and a wooden mold from which it was produced. The carving on this mold was taken from a fraktur in the WILLIAMSBURG collection of George and Martha Washington. A fraktur is a type of illustration on paper. A larger size of both the cookie and the mold can be found in our Traditions' Ginger Cookies and Molds.

Lady Wearing a Red Hat

Over the past couple of years, we have watched the Red Hat craze take off and have received many requests for a lady dressed in purple wearing a red hat. Inspired by a poem written by English poet Jenny Joseph, "Warning, When I'm an Old Woman" has captured the imagination of a fun loving group of women across the country. The poem was written in 1961 and is a lighthearted description of a woman's anticipation of becoming more carefree and spirited when she's reached old age.

"When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me."

The poem goes on to discuss all of the little indulgences that she will look forward treating herself to once she reaches the age that she is not required to be as serious and responsible. The ending of the poem humorously suggests that it is not necessary to put off these indulgences by closing with:

"But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple."

Consequently, Joyce has designed a Lady Wearing a Red Hat who is caroling. We have also designed several other women wearing red hats doing things such as drinking tea and shopping. These figures will be used for special promotions in stores who choose to participate. More details about special retailer events will be available this summer on our website.

New Golfers

This spring, be on the lookout for our third pair of Golfers. The gentleman is wearing a red jacket over a white turtleneck along with a pair of knickers. With his bag slung over one shoulder, our new Golfer is anxious to start the season. The Woman is outfitted in a green striped blouse and wears a straw skimmer on her head to provide some additional shade. She is holding the flag on the 18th green to finish the round before heading to the clubhouse. These two combine to make quite a fine decorative accent for a study or office of any golf enthusiast.

Gardening Girl

As we look out our windows here at Byersí Choice, we see the snow is finally starting to melt and the first signs of spring are slowly starting to appear. Itís been a long winter, and as far as weíre concerned, spring cannot come soon enough. Our new Gardening Girl is dressed and ready to join her mother in the garden. With a basket of flowers under her arm and a gardening rake over her shoulder, she canít wait to spend some time outdoors enjoying the warm sunshine. This yearís Gardening Girl can be found in a variety of sundresses so you can find her in your favorite spring color.


Bride & Groom Kindles
Now Available in 2004

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