From homemade to handblown, Christmas ornaments carry traditions through the years and are cherished glimpses from Christmases past.
One hundred years ago, in the first decades of the 1900s, Christmas trees were decorated with a mix of homemade paper ornaments, paper chains, strings of popcorn, factory-made tinsel garlands, and blown glass ornaments. Blown-glass Christmas ornaments became popular in North America beginning in the 1880s, after F. W. Woolworth began importing them from Germany to sell in his department stores.
The manufacture of glass ornaments was a home-based cottage industry based in and around the village of Lauscha in Thuringia, Germany – with all members of the family completing a different task. Men blew the molten glass into a mould using a small gas burner; women coated the inside of ornaments with a silvering liquid; girls placed the ornaments on drying racks and coated the outside of the ornament with coloured lacquer. And depending on their artistic skills, every member of the family participated in painting decorations and applying “glitter.” Children were tasked with attaching the cap and hanger to the finished ornaments and packing them in boxes.
Candles, or nothing at all, lit Christmas trees until the introduction of strings of electric lights in the early 1900s. The earliest sets of lights were sold in a wood box that could be bought or rented. Electric lights became more popular in the 1920s and 1930s, as more and more homes across North America were wired for electricity.
There are many books about Christmas ornaments. Here are the titles of two books about glass ornaments that may help you to identify ornaments on your Christmas tree:
The Glass Christmas Ornament: Old and New, A Collector’s Compendium and Price Guide, written by Maggie Rogers and Judith Hawkins, published by Timber Press in 1983.
Deck the Halls: Treasures of Christmas Past, written by Robert Merck, published by Abbeville Press in 1992.
When you visit a Grand Harmony Chorus rehearsal, you'll feel energized by the sounds of pure harmony that surround you; the sheer beauty of over 40 voices coming together to create the power of 100 voices will bring goosebumps! As you listen to this amazing group of women sing, you’ll be tapping your toe and searching your soul as the melodies and harmonies create a whirlwind of emotion within you.
Grand Harmony Chorus is a dynamic all-female, all-ages, multi-award-winning Kitchener-Waterloo group that is passionate about singing four-part acappella harmony. This local show choir draws nearly 45 talented singers from the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Listowel, St. Jacobs, Elmira, Orangeville and areas beyond.
The chorus comes together weekly by zoom in song, dance, and artistic expression. Pre-Covid, the chorus was often hired to perform at local events, festivals and fundraisers and produced several sold-out musical shows each year.
This thriving group of harmony-obsessed singers enjoy sharing their love for acappella with music lovers everywhere, and the chorus attempts to empower every voice by enriching the singing experience through education, performanc, and competition. Grand Harmony repertoire includes:
If you are interested in becoming a member or just visiting to see what we’re all about, you’re invited to join us Tuesdays from 7pm to 9pm online (Zoom). Sit in and experience for yourself the love of harmony, community, and singing that is shared each time the chorus gathers to rehearse or perform.
There are so many reasons to join including the chance to spend time with a wonderful group of women, learn some amazing songs, and the opportunity to perform virtually! Women of all ages are invited to attend. Welcoming diverse singers, its members create a safe, inclusive and friendly environment. Join us by contacting e2eae151oVIy5x44uMs6vFV9rFvqyVGlryvwiPlyq|
As we come closer to the end of 2020, there may be a rare light at the end that may bring us a glimpse of hope for all to come in 2021. Jupiter and Saturn will align so closely in the night sky that they will create a radiant point of light, often known as the "Star of Bethlehem" or the "Christmas Star".
"Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another," said Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer at Rice University. "You'd have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky." Read more here: Jupiter and Saturn Will Align to Create the First "Christmas Star" in Nearly 800 Years
Grab a blanket, head outside and experience the phenomenon for yourself. With a clear view, look to the southwest about 45 minutes after sunset. The two planets will be at their closest on December 21st but the "Christmas Star" can be seen for about one hour after sunset in the northern hemisphere for the entire fourth week of December.
Join our online community on Facebook and share your Christmas ornaments, stories, pictures, and traditions with us.
This easy, old fashioned, handmade recipe is a great craft idea for kids and adults. Learn how to make these long-lasting Christmas scented salt dough ornaments by following the simple instructions by Rocky Hedge Farm.
Using cookie cutters, yarn, sewing pins and a few other materials, create these fun, unique wrapped yarn ornaments for your Christmas tree in 2020 by One Little Project.
Looking for more inspiration? Here are 72 easy-to-make DIY Christmas ornaments you can make right at home using things already in your craft cupboard and pantry.