A Historical Account of Christmas Ornaments

by Chris Channing

Since the 1800’s Christmas ornaments have been a popular and traditional way to decorate a Christmas tree during the Christmas holiday season. They hold a lot of sentimental value for religious people, and non religious people alike.

The earliest Christmas ornaments were in the form of fruits, nuts, corn, popcorn, and candles. While having a flame near a Christmas tree may seem dangerous, people rarely left them running all day and night. Candles were a beautiful way to light up a tree, when electricity was not yet invented. In modern times, people still use candles but only ones without flames.

Many of the American ornaments were not as designed and creative as their German counterparts, sparking an array of spinoffs and similarities to the newer generations of ornaments. The Americans began to come up with their own designs in more massively produced numbers, many being in limited edition adding to their value and beauty. Many of the ornaments were hand blown glass and specialty ornaments, making them a rare and beautiful addition to any tree.

Ornament collecting is becoming a fast and favorite hobby, as many of the true collectors spend large budgets on these things of beauty. Special birthday ornaments, home made ornaments, memorable ornaments, collectible celebrity ornaments, the list goes on for the collector. This hobby is one of the most collector-friendly, as there are many sources where one could find ornaments for purchase.

There are a few companies that are well known for their Christmas ornament collections. Hallmark, Lenox, Fenton, and others, are all companies that partake in the mass production of unique and special Christmas ornaments. Their vintage sets are often sought out by avid collectors due to their value, beauty, and significance.

The German people have hand blown their glass ornaments since the 1800’s. They have also had a tradition of hiding a pickle ornament within or around the Christmas tree for a very lucky child to find. The child who found the pickle ornament was given an extra present from Old Saint Nicholas. The American people have had a tradition of creating heartfelt ornaments at school with materials such as pasta noodles or Popsicle sticks and giving them to their parents as a special ornament for their Happy Holiday.

Closing Comments

Christmas Ornaments are beautiful and special to the owners. Many people would rescue their collections in a fire before other things. Christmas ornaments are new to tradition, only being around for a little over 110 years; yet they hold very much importance to people around the globe.

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