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Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments
There is nothing that signals the onset of the holiday season like putting up the Christmas decorations. We pull everything out of storage and put up the tree, then the family gathers around to string lights from branch to branch. Of course, we donít stop there! We grab the Christmas ornaments to fill out every possible bough, before darkening the room to sit back as hundreds of lights reflect a beautiful cascade of colors all over the room. Once the tree is lit for that first magical time, itís as though the festive period truly begins.

From there, we go on to cover any place we see fit with decorations of all kinds. The bright glass balls and shimmering stars have migrated from the tree to center pieces, decorative baskets and, in some houses, onto the fireplace where the stockings are. Truly, the only limits are your imagination!

A Brief History of Christmas Ornaments

Putting decorations on the tree has a confusing history. Tradition holds the custom began when Saint Boniface, then a monk bringing the gospel to Germany, delivered a fir tree to his congregants claiming it a symbol of the Holy Trinity due to its triangular shape. Though unconfirmed, this is believed to have led to white candles being placed on the tree and, in time, nuts and sweets Ė even painted egg shells. In the 19th century, the practice became more sophisticated, growing to include the blown glass ornaments our modern decorations are descended from.

Across the Atlantic, the 1800s saw the tradition take hold in America, with strings of fruit and popcorn becoming the most common. That is, until late in the century when F.W. Woolworth, owner of the Five and Dime Store chain, began importing the German-style ornaments. They were immediately popular, generating an estimated $25 million in revenue for the company by the start of the 1900s. Around the time of World War II, the Corning Company figured out how to mass produce ornaments and send them elsewhere for painting, opening the tradition up for homes of all income levels Ė and cementing the custom as a key part of Christmas decorating today.

Modern Christmas Ornaments

Though itís last to go on, the tree topper is the first thing most people see. Due to its size and prominent placement, it is more often considered a decoration unto itself than an actual ornament nowadays. Traditionally, either a star or angel are placed on the tree to bring the night of Jesusí birth to mind. (The star, obviously, was followed by the Three Wise Men and an angel delivered the news to the shepherds.) However, nowadays it is possible to customize the tree topper to match nearly any interest, from Santa Claus to Disney characters to seasonal items, like snowflakes or holly.

For the rest of the tree, you can craft a design fitting a certain theme or have none at all. Families often accumulate dozens of ornaments over time, so many revel in the memories as the ornaments from year after year go up. These can be a complex collection reflecting different tastes and trends or a uniform set organized by color. Whether you choose to go with something classic or choose some of the modern mechanized ornaments, no two families will decorate the tree the same.

Some prefer to make ornaments by hand, which is predominantly done in two distinct ways: knitting or special dough. Christmas is a very personal holiday, so take the opportunity to use these methods and create a unique collection. If you have the skill with a needle and thread or yarn, you can knit shapes you like. For those who wish for a little more help, there are patterns available online or in craft stores.

To make the ornaments out of dough, use a mix of flour, cornstarch, water and oil (proportions vary based on recipe), then cut them out just like you would cookies. From there, poke a hole near the top and decide whether you will decorate them or leave them plain. Then, you have to make the shape solid by baking them. Once cool, string a piece of colorful or festive ribbon through the hole in the top of your Santas, reindeer, snowmen and bells before placing them on the tree.

List of Top Christmas Ornament Stores



  • Ornaments.com

  • Giftideasetc.com

  • Bizrate.com

  • Store.Dayspring-store.com

  • CrossesandChristmas.com

  • Clevershoppers.com

  • Homewordnow.com

  • FamilyChristian.com

  • RusselRhodes.com

  • Cafepress.com


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