The History of Christmas Ornaments
In a tiny village tucked away in the mountains of central Germany, the Christmas ornaments we admire today were born. The town of Lauscha, Germany was famously known in the late 16th century for their specialty glassworks, including bowls, beads, drinkware and glass eyes. Around German Europe, families would decorate their Christmas trees with nuts, fruits and tinsel and apples (to represent the forbidden fruit discussed in the Bible), but this tradition was too costly for some lower class families. In 1847, a direct descendant of Lauscha’s first glass maker, Hans Greiner had an epiphany: create Christmas tree decorations that last beyond one Christmas. He went to work creating Christmas ornaments, or Baubels, in the shape of fruits, nuts and other simple designs. Soon the idea to decorate the Christmas tree with these hand-blown glass Christmas ornaments would spread like wildfire and start a worldwide tradition that continues on to this day.
For more on the history of why Christmas trees have ornaments and other Christmas-inspired tidbits, visit the Old World Christmas blog!
How Christmas Ornaments Are Made Today
Christmas ornaments today have taken on shapes, sizes, colors and designs that would leave Hans Greiner speechless. What’s most impressive, though, is that Christmas ornaments are made in the same way now as they were in 1847, like the Christmas ornaments from Old World Christmas. We’ve taken the time to understand how traditional Christmas ornaments are made, and strive to create the most beautiful, handmade, mouth-blown Christmas ornaments for our loyal customers to cherish and pass down for years to come.
Using heat from a flame, clear glass cylinders with a long blow-pipe are turned consistently, evenly heating the glass. As the glass heats, it softens and glows. This glow tells us when it’s ready to expand and take the shape of the chosen mold. Once the entire bubbled end is glowing and hot, the glass maker blows into the long tube, using air to fill the end of the glass bubble and expanding it into the chosen mold. In order to prevent shattering, the glass maker gradually lowers the temperature to a less intense flame. The newly shaped glass is added to the annealer, (oven for ornaments) to cool. Then, a silvering solution is poured into the Christmas ornament’s stem and the entire thing is dipped into warm water, activating the silvering chemicals for a mirror-like finish of the Christmas ornament.
Once this is complete, the Christmas ornaments are dipped in lacquer for color and hand painted to accentuate their unique characteristics. The painter will then make an incision on the stem, snap it off, and cover the top with a cap. Now the Christmas ornament is complete and ready for its new owner.
Looking for a Christmas theme this holiday season?
Christmas is all about themes, and it all starts with the Christmas ornaments. Whether It’s a traditional theme or something near and dear to your heart, choosing a theme with colors and Christmas ornaments is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Your tree should be the center of your theme, then all other decorations should follow. Adding things like ribbon, flocking and lights are great additions and ways to show off those beautiful Christmas tree ornaments.
Deck the Halls with Pet Ornament Themes
Pets are a part of the family. Whether they have since past or are still spreading joy to the family, having an ornament that depicts them is a great way to symbolize them. We have a great selection of both cat Christmas ornaments and dog Christmas ornaments, as well as any other pets you might have in our animal ornament page.
Time-Honored Christmas Themes
You can’t go wrong with a traditional themed Christmas ornament. They are something everyone will love and there are so many options to choose from. From Santa to Snowman to a nativity scene to a gingerbread house, Christmas themed ornaments are perfect for any Christmas tree.
Many Enjoy Angel Ornament Themes
Angels have been one of the classic toppers for many years, but they can also be great ornaments. These stoic guardians are perfect for any tree and we have a wide selection of colors and sizes to go with any color scheme you have going. Make an angel Christmas ornament a part of your tree this year.
Ornaments Can Go on More Than Just Christmas Trees
Christmas ornaments today are more than just for your tree. Snow globes are festive, and ornaments can be hung around the house. We have a great selection of ideas for other uses around the house, such as hanging them on hooks and stands or on wreaths. If you’re looking for more ideas on where to hang Christmas tree ornaments for the season or for all year round check out our post which details our top 6 ways to display Christmas ornaments all year.
Hanging Christmas Ornaments Throughout the House
When the tree is overflowing with hanging Christmas ornaments, ornaments hooks and stands are the next best thing. Whether it’s one Christmas ornament in particular you want to show off or a specific theme you’re going for you can use these to represent that perfectly. Christmas ornaments can also be hung year-round with these hooks and stands.
Holiday Snow Globes
It’s believed that snow globes were originally created as a replacement to paper weights. Today they have become perfect decorations found on mantels, tables, windowsills, desks and anywhere else they can be admired. They also make great gifts and collectibles. Check out our selection and add a beautiful, new addition to your decorations.