Two businesses create Christmas memories by making Tulsa-themed ornaments, snow globes

TULSA -- Two businesses are making sure that local families have a touch of Tulsa when they decorate their homes for Christmas.

Bobbie Whaling, owner of Whaling Graphics, started The Tulsa Ornament in 1987, which is an ornament celebrating a different local landmark each year.

She began designing the ornaments for a local gift shop, Another Point of View, until it closed in 2001.  She then carried on the tradition on her own after seeing the demand from customers.

"I hope they enjoy (the ornaments) for years to come," Whaling said. "These can last for a long time, and you pull them out and it has memories and places and landmarks. I hope it inspires everybody every year."

During the past few years, the ornaments have featured some of Tulsa's most recognizable landmarks, including the Golden Driller, the Philbrook Museum, the downtown skyline and Drillers stadium. Whaling said each ornament begins the same, with a detailed, hand-drawn sketch that takes her about three months to perfect.

By the end of the holiday season, she said she sells almost 500 ornaments every year. She now takes the profits and divides them evenly among three local charities: the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, Catholic Charities and Neighbor for Neighbor.

"I love that people do enjoy them," Whaling said, "and I enjoy making them."

People can buy her ornaments at several stores in Tulsa, including Ida Red in Brookside. Angelene Wright, the owner of Ida Red, is selling a new product that she hopes will become a holiday tradition for her store.

"I personally love snow globes," Wright said. "Our customers would always ask us, 'Do you have a snow globe?' We could never find any, so this year we just went for it and made it ourselves."

Wright helped design the snow globe, which shows off different buildings in the downtown Tulsa skyline. She said months of work went into the design and the making of it, so she is beyond thrilled with the way it turned out. "Tulsa's looking really good in it," she said, laughing.

Wright plans to make a new snow globe each year featuring a different local landmark, similar to the series Whaling has created with her ornaments.

Both business owners are now in the midst of figuring out what will be featured in next year's decorations.

To learn more about The Tulsa Ornament, click here. To visit the Ida Red website, follow this link.

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