Posted on Nov 02, 2015 | by S Mason
Hand blown glass Christmas ornaments come in all shapes and sizes, but have you ever wondered where the tradition came from? Glass blowing as an art has been around since 1500 BC. Excavations show that the Egyptians made use of glass, though it was not till much later that glass became a huge trade commodity.
Around 1400 AD the majority of glass production was centered in Venice, Italy, but there were so many glass artisans that they were ultimately relocated to the island of Murano where many remain to this day. Within time, the Italian glass blowing trade secrets made their way to the rest of Europe, and glass blowing operations became common in France and Germany as well.
In 1597, Christoph Muller and Hans Greiner set up the first glassworks factory in Germany in a town named Lauscha. Their descendants carried on the glass making tradition, and in 1846 the first glass Christmas ornaments were made in the shape of fruits and nuts. The ornaments were crafted using a technique that involved hand blowing and molds. Their popularity grew and the demand for ornaments spread to America after F. W. Woolworth discovered the Lauscha operation in the late 1880’s. Germany held the monopoly on the Christmas ornament market until the 1920’s when Czechoslovakia and Japan began producing them for export to the U.S.
The variety of ornaments available is staggering, and many of them have long-standing meaning. Over the years certain designs have come to symbolize feelings we all hold dear. Acorns symbolize good luck. While bird ornaments are known to symbolize happiness and joy.
And dating back to the 1800's there is the tradition of the pickle ornament! How strange is that. The pickle is to be the last ornament hung on the Christmas tree; and then the first child to find the pickle, gets an extra present.
While decorating the Christmas tree is an annual tradition for many families enjoy, there is nothing that says the tree itself needs to be traditional. Many families like to decorate the Christmas tree with a theme in mind that reflects who they are. For instance, perhaps you live on the coast - then think fish, seashells, starfish and tropical flowers. Perhaps you run an animal rescue - then your tree may be decorated with the animals you care for. It is truly endless and quite fun searching out the ornaments that are just right for you.
If traditional is the decorating theme for you, glass ball ornaments will offer you a wide variety of sizes and even themes within themes from snowflakes and flowers to Monet inspired scenes.
Many people won't have room for a large Christmas tree, but there is certainly no reason you should feel left out of the season. Miniature ornaments are perfect for decorating a smaller tree or even just a small tree frame or plant.