These days we are all trying to save money and be practical. That does not mean that gift giving should become a thing of the past. Far from it! More than ever, in this economic climate, we need to give each other little surprises. A friend who has lost a job or who is having a health crisis needs a little something to brighten her day.
I have two standbys for angel figurines: Willow Tree and Precious Moments. If you know anything about either of these two figurine lines, you know that I have just described poplar opposites in the gift world! Willow Tree, created by artist Susan Lordi, is a gift line defined by simple figurines in earth tones. There is little ornamentation and no facial features at all. Precious Moments, on the other hand, was created by artist Sam Butcher and he is known particularly for the facial features of his figurines. The little children with their large, tear drop shaped eyes are iconic.
Willow Tree angel figurines are mostly androgynous, leaning towards the feminine side. Lordi conveys emotion and story through subtle postures and the cock of the head. You can imagine the facial expression by what is happening with the figurine. All of the angel figurines are solitary. They watch, guard and bear witness from afar. What I like about them is they appeal to everyone. Children are fascinated by the stark qualities of the angels. Adults appreciate the subtleties inherent in the design. They speak volumes in their silence.
Precious Moments angel figurines are a different universe from Willow Tree. The figurines are painted and ornamented with gold leaf and halos. The angels are both male and female, although Sam Butcher always represents children in his figurines. The emotion comes through in posture — kneeling, bowing or praying angels abound. It also comes through in the uncanny expressions that Butcher brings to his figures. Precious Moments angels are alive with emotion. I have seen young children stare at an angel figurine for minutes at a time, entranced by the minute detailing.
A Precious Moments angel will be a bit more expensive. New, they are about $10-$15 more than a Willow Tree angel. Both collections have a good range of angels to choose from. Both have some “classic” angels, like an “Angel of Mercy” and an “Angel of Healing.” With Willow Tree you will find more abstract angels like “Thank you” angel or “Courage” angel. They convey the sentiment you want to get across, but it is different than what you might expect. Precious Moments offers concrete themes: motherhood, birth, death and love. The figurines carry the traditional symbols you would expect to convey the emotion you want your gift to express. Angel Figurine