Nostalgic Christmas Ornaments
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a beautifully decorated Christmas tree sat in the window with its fairy lights twinkling merrily. Whether you’re a ‘throw everything on and see how it looks’ type, or an ‘every decoration has its special place’ decorator, the ornaments themselves are a wonderful glimpse into your tastes and personality.
For our festive nostalgic comfort feature, we wanted to give you a little wander down memory lane for some of the ornaments you’ll have used through the years and the history behind them.
Baubles, as we know them, were first invented in Germany in the 1840s by a man named Hans Greiner. At first, they were made from glass and shaped like fruits and nuts, but over the years they evolved into the spherical shape we’re now familiar with. It was said that Queen Victoria was quite taken with them and brought them from Germany to the UK in the late nineteenth century.
Baubles have gone through a number of styles through the years, what was your favourite?
Originally real candles, the practice began in Germany in the seventeenth century, and over the next 200 years or more, Christmas lights became a well-established tradition of festive decorations. The first electric Christmas lights were seen in New York and were designed by a friend of Thomas Edison; inventor Edward Johnson. As these were easier and safer, they quickly became the chosen option for lighting up Christmas trees at home.
Do you prefer the classic multi-coloured or the delicate white lights on your tree?
The history of having an angel at the top of the tree dates back to the early Victorian era. After Queen Victoria and Prince Albert brought over the first tree it was decorated with angels, silver wire ornaments, tinsel, small beads and candles.
A star at the top of the tree is also a popular choice for those who may want to represent the story of the nativity. Do you remember the lovely pointed glass tree spires, also called finial tree toppers, that were all the rage just a few short years ago?
We know this one is a bit of a cheat because they usually hang from the fireplace and not the tree, but we just couldn’t resist mentioning the gorgeous tradition of Christmas stockings.
Stockings were universally loved, and for many people, the trinkets inside were the only gifts they’d receive on Christmas morning. Sat waiting for Father Christmas to stuff with a satsuma and gold coin, they were, and still are, a truly magical part of the festive celebrations.
What did you get in your stocking as a child?