Christmas Traditions: Christmas ornaments

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Today, Christmas ornaments come in every shape, size and color imaginable.  They can be store bought or homemade and there are numerous themes to choose from.

The first Christmas trees were adorned with apples, candy canes and pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts and flowers.

Glass baubles were first made in Lauscha, Germany by Hans Greiner in the 16th Century. He produced garlands of glass beads and tin figures to hang on the tree. The idea began to spread and more ornaments were made.

In the 1840s, Queen Victoria wrote and released a picture about the delight have having a tree with lights and ornaments.

In the 1850s, Justus von Liebig, developed a silvering nitrate solution which allowed ornaments to be hand painted.

William DeMuth made the first American ornaments in 1870s New York and by the 1880s Woolworth’s sold the Lauscha glass ornaments. Production of the Lauscha ornaments ceased after World War II ended.

Hallmark began manufacturing their ornaments in 1973.

“In 1996, the ornament industry generated $2.4 billion in total annual sales.”

Of course for many homemade ornaments are still the style of choice.

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