Most of us probably aren't lucky enough to have a coveted 19th
century Belsnickle Santa ornament or a $1,000 antique German
feather tree, but those familiar - and even not-so-old - holiday
decorations you unpack from storage every year could still be
worth a small fortune. Everything from mom's old aluminum
tree from the 1950s to those sentimental Hallmark ornaments
from the '70s to the animated Star Trek animated series are
highly sought after by collectors.
Holidays are a strong segment of collecting, with Christmas
items among the most popular. Objects depicting Santa - St.
Nick, Father Christmas, Kriss Kringle - remain the most
desirable, with antique items such as Belsnickle figures and
composition candy holders commanding prices approaching four
figures. But amazingly, a simple plastic Hallmark Santa
ornament from 1975 is valued at $125 even without the box
(Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, Kyle Husfloen). Other
Hallmark ornaments are worth anywhere from $10 to hundreds
of dollars, especially the first in any series (Holiday Barbie, $90;
Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise, $250; 1981 rocking horse, $500). But
as more collectors buy these ornaments and store them
untouched in their original boxes, they become less rare and,
therefore, less valuable.
So above all, buy what you like. An excellent resource for
identifying and pricing yours is the "Hallmark Keepsake
Ornament Value Guide," by Nicki Pierce.