Did you know that Christmas trees weren’t always decorated with glass ornaments?
Indeed, before the advent of the shiny globes, Christmas trees were usually hung with edibles, such as strings of popcorn, nuts, shaped pastries, cookies, and luscious apples that children consumed on the feast of the Three Kings or Epiphany.
Then, in the sixteenth century, Hans Greiner, a master glass-blower from Lauscha, Germany, to amuse his children, blew shapes imitating the fruits on his Christmas tree.
The light-catching effect of the glass baubles was fascinating and a glass-ornament industry grew out of Lauscha.
In 1832 a young queen Victoria wrote how she loved a decorated fir surrounded by colorfully wrapped gifts.
After a picture of her own tree, bedecked with ornaments from Prince Albert’s native Germany, was published in a London paper, Lauscha began exporting ornaments throughout Europe.
In the 1880s, American F.W. Woolworth visited Germany where he discovered Lauscha’s baubles. He made a fortune importing the German glass trinkets to the United States.
A success with Americans, the beautiful glass ornaments took over from sea to shiny sea.
So, now as you decorate the Christmas tree, you have a story, and a bit of history for the children when they ask, “where did ornaments come from”?
By Andrea F. Phillips
References: Catolicismo; Wikipedia
Photos: Glass Ball: Andrea F. Phillips - Young Queen Victoria: Mabalu
DAILY QUOTE for May 22, 2019
SAINT OF THE DAY
St. Rita of Cascia
Fatima custodians often meet people who know little or nothing about the Catholic faith. A few years ago I had such an experience in Florida