For many people the high point of Christmas is pulling out the Christmas ornaments and decorating their tree. This high point of decorating during the season can really be an expression of your personality and style. Christmas ornaments run the gamut from the traditional to the avant garde. The ornaments that you choose can reflect your hobbies, interests or even your food preferences. Many people have even turned the hunt of a specific kind of Christmas ornament into a hobby as they use their time before and after Christmas to find the ornaments they want. So read on for a fun look at Christmas ornaments that might inspire you into a whole new direction for your decorating this year.
Christmas ornaments were entirely handmade until the middle of the 19th century. Homeowners would make decorations out of anything available that often included scraps of cloth, wood, pinecones and other items gathered from nature. Ready made Christmas ornaments only first started appearing on store shelves during the 1870s. These early ornaments were made of lead in geometric shapes or as stars, crosses and butterflies.
Shortly after these locally manufactured ornaments were available for purchase, glass ornaments from Germany began to be imported. The Germans were renowned for making the highest quality glass ornaments. They were truly exquisite and viewed as works of art. The Germans had over 5000 ornament molds and over 100 glass blowing workshops devoted entirely to making them. It was in 1880 when F.W. Woolworth reluctantly stocked his shelves with glass ornaments that these ornaments took over the mainstream in popularity. Mr. Woolworth didn’t think they would sell and would be waste of valuable retail space. Ironically, by 1890, he was importing over 200,000 ornaments a year and selling 25 million dollars worth, at five and ten cents per ornament! Christmas ornaments have been an essential holiday decorating staple ever since.
Christmas ornaments have evolved a long way from those earlier styles. The major issue of change is that they are not just made of glass anymore. While glass may still be the most popular style of ornament, plastic ornaments have gained a lot of ground. Plastic provides a more durable ornament that can resemble almost anything and gives consumers a piece of mind when packing the ornament away after the season. Cartoon character ornaments, moving ornaments, even those that light up are more widely available and affordable, when manufactured in plastic. Ornaments of all types are now being made in every style you can think of. Sports, locations, and even food have become themes of ornaments
Wood and pewter (and other metals) have also become popular ornament choices. Wooden ornaments can provide a quaint charm, perfect for Christmas trees with a country theme. Pewter ornaments can lend the tree a cool sophistication. Depending on how dark the shade of pewter (some are more gunmetal and some are closer to silver), pewter ornaments may look stunning when combined with either blue or red garland.
While ornaments are traditionally hung solely on the Christmas tree, today’s crafty decorators are using Christmas ornaments everywhere and anywhere. Try making an entire wreath of them for a festive addition to the front door. Or if you are looking for simplicity fill a bowl full of ornaments for a charming centerpiece. Adding ornaments to garland that’s draped in a stairway gives an instant dash of color. You can tie them with a sprig of holly and some bells and hang from doorknobs for a bright and melodious entry to any room! Christmas ornaments are not just for Christmas trees anymore. With so many wonderful uses, why not hang Christmas ornaments all through your home?