Our Christmas Tradition: Steiff Classic & Collectible Plush

Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide – Day 26

Even if you don’t know Steiff by name, I can guarantee you that you would recognize them if you saw them.  With their signature yellow “Button in Ear” {or, rather “Knopf im Ohr} tags and their classic good looks, they are the quintessential teddy bear company and the makers of the 111471_tcutest plush animals ever.   Since 1880, the German company has been a collector’s dream; with yearly specials, limited editions, and one-of-a-kind qualities since they are created mostly by hand, Steiff tend to hold or increase in value each year as well as making for an irresistibly cute collection when displayed. 

I can still very vividly remember the first time I saw a Steiff display case up close and got to see all the amazing detail that goes into each plush animal.  With their classic mohair collection, play collection, baby line, and limited edition sets, it became very clear what all the hype was about.  Even though I was only a teenager, I decided right then and there that if I ever had a child, I would give them a classic Steiff collection.  Years later, I was in a high-end Seattle boutique with a baby on the way and saw that same signature yellow Steiff tag display and was immediately drawn to it. 

002946_tI knew my baby needed her own little Steiff animal to love and fell in love with the “big foot” Classic Mohair Teddy in pink for 2008, which would be my daughter’s birth year.  We decided that we would wrap up the small mohair bear for her first Christmas and hopefully begin a life-long tradition.  After she opened that bear on that first magical Christmas as a family of 3, we built a special display shelf in her room for it where we could see it every time we went into the nursery.  Surrounded by all the beautiful and special keepsakes of her first year, the Steiff bear simply looked perfect. 

The pink Mohair Teddy has since been joined by a small collection of the Steiff mini mohair animals we’ve picked up in our travels and gave to our daughter for her first big holidays.  On her birthday we added a miniature brown bear to the collection, on Easter we 086724_dadded the Dossy rabbit, and the next Christmas we added a classic Steiff elephant.  I love that each animal is representative of a certain season or specific time and my daughter loves that they are the perfect size for playing with as well as displaying.

Weeks after my daughter’s second Christmas, we found out we would soon be a family of 4 and we began to collect Steiff for our second child as well.  This included a little cutie for him to come home from the hospital with, a matching light blue “big foot” bear made out of mohair for his first Christmas, and a mini dark brown bear for his birthday.  While he’s still too young to Mini mohairplay with his Steiff collection, he enjoys looking at it with us and cuddling with the more child-friendly stuffed animals.

So, now that Christmas is fast approaching again, I’m betting you’ve already figured out we will be continuing the tradition again this year and there will be some new Steiff plush animals under the tree to open.  The only difference is that this year the kids will be giving each other 071874_ttheir special Steiff animals.  My daughter will be gifting the Sissi Piglet to her brother and he will giving her the Cappy Frog as her special present. 

With how much my daughter loves everything {and I do mean everything} about the holidays, I was really surprised that her big thing this year is asking how many more days until her brother can open his pig.  Not only did she decide on the special pig for him all on her own, she also made her own wrapping paper and then 056345_twrapped it up special for him.  As you can imagine, the excitement has been almost too much to bear as she eagerly awaits Christmas morning when he will open it.  If only she knew that he has also gotten her a Steiff animal of her own, the Cappy Frog, I don’t think I would be able to get anything done all day.

Quite honestly, this is what I am waiting for the most as well.  I love our Christmas traditions we’ve created as a family and to me Steiff animals under the tree is one of the most important.  Even though this year we are branching out and not getting Steiff mohair animals for the display shelf, I’m excited about them having special Steiff animals they can play with that were special Sissy Pigletpresents from each other.  With the perfect mix of cuteness and realism that makes Steiff animals unlike mass-produced stuffed animals, I know both the Sissi Pig and the Cappy Frog will become fast friends for life. 

If you haven’t already found the Steiff website, I would highly recommend checking it out.  I had fun perusing the online catalogue and looking up all the little Steiff friends we’ve acquired throughout the years {as well as creating a wishlist for future holidays}.  Since we’re starting a collection for both kids, I love that I could find out more about the animals we own and was happy to note that a good portion of our collection has a specific release date listed which corresponds with the year we purchased it.  As we get more Steiff friends it will make it a lot easier to remember when we Sissi Pig Wrappingbought each one throughout the decades. 

If you’re looking to expand or start a Steiff collection, you should start your browsing at http://www.steiffusa.com/. To find a retailer near you, you can check out the Steiff Store Locator here - I will warn you that this is by no means a full list of retailers, since numerous stores near me carry the Steiff animals but only 5 come up on this list for the entire state of Washington.  You will typically find Steiff animals in high end retail shops and boutiques, but a large selection can even be found at FAO Schwartz and other big retailers as well as online. 

Leanne Signature 2A big thank you to Steiff for sending some adorable plush animals this holiday season.  All opinions are 100% ours and no form of monetary compensation was received in exchange for this very Rave Review – we simply adore Steiff and hope you do, too!

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