Antique and vintage handmade Christmas ornaments will brighten your tree with the feel of Christmases long ago. Collecting ornaments gives you and your tree a connection to the history of the holiday.
Christmas brings about many wonderful moments spent with family and friends, but one of the most special is the traditional trimming of the tree. Every family seems to have an old box of ornaments from childhood, which they add to yearly. This may not be a conscious attempt at collecting, but the results are the same—a varied collection of treasured memories from many places and times.
Christmas ornaments got their start as a cottage industry in small villages throughout Germany. Originally, edible treats and small gifts were placed on the tree, but by the mid-1800s, German glassmakers were replacing these treats with blown glass balls. Other popular mediums for these artisans were metal, tinsel, spun glass, paper, wax, and cotton, but glass ornaments have been the most enduring.
Vintage German ornaments can often be found at estate sales and antique shows, as well as online. It’s common to find reproductions, so buying from a knowledgeable dealer is a good place to start. Collector Donna Cox reflects on her love of these beauties. “Ornaments are charming and endearing and bring back a piece of the past to you.” Whether old or new, Christmas ornaments can become a part of your own family’s treasures and traditions.