Christmas Days Arlington Vermont

The Legends of Christmas Ornaments

The Glass Bird Ornament

- Birds are considered a universal symbol of happiness and joy and are regarded by many to be a necessity on the Christmas tree. Because bird ornaments were difficult to create, few glassblowing families in Germany specialized in the making of these special pieces. Birds represent messengers of love and are the harbingers of good things to come.

The Glass Cottage Ornament

- Cottages represented the heritage and culture of German glassblowers. The unique architecture of each village was a source of pride as cottage styles often varied greatly. Glassblowers frequently created images that reflected their day - to - day lives.

Cottage ornaments were often based on the humble homes in which the artisans lived and worked, as well as after the fanciful gingerbread houses families made during the Christmas season.

The Glass Devil Ornament

- Devils with red faces, horns and tails often played a significant role in early German Christmas celebrations. Paradise plays performed during the holiday season in medieval times depicted life and death, the Garden of Eden, and good and evil.

Devil heads were an important part of early Christian celebrations of Christmas to remind revelers of the consequences of living an unholy life. In some parts of Germany and Austria, St. Nicholas characters were accompanied by a figure called Krumpus. Krumpus looked very much like the devil and his purpose was to punish girls and boys who had misbehaved during the year. This ornament is symbolic of the devil figure common to early Christmas festivals, and the antique mold for the Devil Head ornament is believed to be one of the earliest molds made.

The Glass Apple Ornament

- Apples were the traditional German symbol of temptation.

Apple ornaments were hung on evergreen trees during the presentation of the Paradise plays of the Christmas season in medieval times throughout Europe. Trees laden with apple ornaments were used during the re-enactment of the story of Adam and Eve on Christmas Eve, to reinforce the meaning of Christ's birth. Also, an early legend held that if an apple was cut during the holidays and there was a perfect star inside and the seeds were plump, good health and fortune would be assured during the coming year. As the earliest Christmas trees were adorned with natural fruits and nuts, glassblowers naturally patterned many of their first molds after these items.

The Glass Orange Ornament

- Oranges have always been considered a very special treat at Christmas time. Costly and scarce during the winter months many years ago, oranges were highly appreciated and were quite a delicacy. Santa would often leave on of these sweet fruits in the toe of a stocking of good little boys and girls as a delightful reward. Oranges were among the first figural glass ornaments produced.

The Glass Walnut Ornament

-Walnuts were frequently part of early Christmas celebrations in Europe that included evenings of games and merrymaking. Tiny candles, stuck in walnut shells, were set afloat in a pan of water. The little boy's candle which burned to the end without capsizing was promised a long life, and the girl's candle which stood upright the longest would have the best husband. During such celebrations, parents would crack walnuts trusting the nut would not be spoiled; if it was, death was foretold to that person. These traditions were memorialized through the years by the walnut ornament The walnut was one of the first "ornaments" to adorn the earliest Christmas trees.

The Glass Grape Ornament

- Grape ornaments were symbols of friendship. It was also symbolic of sharing a friendly glass of wine.

The Glass Acorn Ornament

. - Acorns have long been thought to be good luck symbols in Germany where oak trees are considered sacred. Acorns are also believed to represent the rebirth of life as witnessed by the coming of the Christ child. Early German Christmas trees were laden with cones, cookies and nuts, most notably the acorn, to commemorate this gift of life and luck. This tradition is celebrated today with the glass acorn ornament.

The Glass Carrot Ornament

- Long ago the glass carrot ornament was very popular in Germany as a traditional gift for brides. It was believed to bring the bride good luck in the kitchen.

The Glass Pickle Ornament

- This is probably the ornament which Christmas Days sells more of than any other ornament. Pickle ornaments are a symbol of good luck. They were considered a special decoration by many families in Germany, where the fir tree was decorated on Christmas Eve. It was always the last ornament to be hung on the Christmas tree, with the parents hiding it in the green boughs among the other ornaments. When the children were allowed to view the tree they would begin gleefullly searching for the pickle ornament. Whoever found the pickle ornament first would receive a special present. Unfortunately for the children, as they grew older, the pickles became smaller!

The Tulip Ornament

- Once upon a time a young man was enamored of a beautiful girl. Rumor reached him that his beloved had died. Mounting his horse, he galloped off the edge of a rocky cliff and plunged to his death. As his blood touched the soil, red tulips sprang up all around. Thus, the red tulip became a symbol of eternal love. A tulip offered by a young man to his beloved says " As the redness of this flower, I am on fire with love for you".

The Christmas Tree Ornament

- Fir trees are one of the most widely recognized symbols of the holiday season. The role of the fir tree in mid-winter celebrations dates back to pre-christian times when the tree symbolized nature's triumph over winter's darkness and deathly cold. Christians began using fir trees and other evergreens as a reminder of Christ's everlasting life. The fir tree was also popular because of its paternal nature. Thick fir boughs graciously protected delicate birds, and provided shelter to other animals in the dense Bavarian forests of Germany For more on the history of the Christmas tree click here

Christmas Days Arlington Vermont