Long ago in the early 1800s the coniferous pines that we have come to call Christmas trees were covered with fruits and nuts that were reminiscent of the fact that spring would come again and the cold wintery season would not be everlasting. The fruits and nuts symbolized that new life during a dark and dreary season we all know as winter would soon come. But why did we ever start hanging those shiny glass bulbs on the Christmas tree? And where did they come from?
Christmas ornaments were developed in Germany by a glassblower that lived in the Lauscha decided to blow some small glass balls and hang them on his family Christmas tree on year. It wouldn’t be long before friends and family fell in love with the tiny glass bulbs and the glassblower began selling them in his shop. Within a few short years, the entire town of Lauscha would have glassblowers within it that sold Christmas ornaments. By the mid to late 1800s, entrepreneurs were blowing glass Christmas ornaments all over Germany and they would very soon make their way across seas to the United States.
By the time the Christmas ornaments actually made their way to the United States they were no linger just tine glass balls. The Christmas ornaments now consisted of all sorts of glass pieces such as fruits and nuts, hearts and stars, and dozens of other shapes of glass that had been molded and colored in an endless prism of colors and shapes. The Christmas ornaments were brought to the United States by F.W. Woolworth in the year 1880 to be sold in his store also known as Woolworth’s Five and Dime stores.
While the early ornaments were still fruits and such, today’s Christmas ornaments have become a beautiful sight to see. No two Christmas trees ever look alike and the traditions that began in the early years continue to grow and prosper. Those tiny glass balls that were once blown in Germany now are sold all over the United States and many other countries in the world. Not only does nearly every Christmas tree have at least a few of these traditional Christmas ornaments on it, we now cover our trees with a spectacular showcase of lights and other ornaments many of which have been passed down through the family for generations.
Next time you look at your Christmas tree, or any Christmas tree, think about the origin of the Christmas ornament. It was more than 200 years ago when the first glass bulbs were hand blown by the glassblower in Lauscha, Germany and yet still today we decorate our Christmas tree with bulbs that are nearly identical in nature…the Christmas ornaments have only become increasingly popular over the years. It’s a tradition that is likely to be passed on for many more generations!