Want to add a little bit of genealogy to your Christmas tree? Add some ornaments that reflect your family’s heritage. Doing so adds a personalized touch that can be a conversation starter when the guests arrive. Children who notice these special ornaments might ask questions about their family history. A new generation of genealogists can grow from a simple holiday decoration.
Germany is known for delicate hand-blown glass Christmas ornaments. These ornaments were first imported to the United States in the 1880’s by Woolworth stores. This style of Christmas ornament has become popular, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some in stores like Target or Kohl’s. They come in an imaginative range of styles and subjects!
Sometimes, American families with German heritage will hang a blown glass pickle on their Christmas trees. It turns out this is not actually a tradition that comes from Germany. It is more of a German-American thing.
If you are looking for Irish Christmas ornaments, Belleek is a great place to start. It is an Irish porcelain company that began trading in 1884. They make beautiful white ornaments with delicate green shamrocks on them. Shapes include a Celtic cross, a castle, a pint, Irish doors, and even the shape of Ireland itself.
Waterford Crystal is another great place to find Irish Christmas ornaments. The company dates back to 1783. They make beautiful hand blown glass that has a unique design cut into it. You can purchase ornaments in the shape of stars, harps, Christmas trees, snowflakes, and much more. It is possible to find ornaments by both Belleek and Waterford on Amazon and Ebay.
One of the traditional types of Christmas ornaments in Poland is made from hollowed eggs. The uncooked egg is pierced and the inside is blown out. This leaves an extremely fragile egg shell that is carefully decorated. Talented crafters may want to try making some of these ornaments themselves. Others can purchase glass versions of the decorated egg ornaments from the Polish Art Center.
The BBC points out that British children hang their stockings at the end of their beds. In America, the children hang their Christmas stockings by the fireplace (or, lacking that, somewhere in the living room). Families with British heritage may want to participate in the tradition of placing the Christmas stockings at the end of beds this year.
Does your family have Scottish heritage? You can create a Christmas ornament that includes your family’s tartan. Genealogists may already know exactly what color and pattern it happens to be. The ornament doesn’t have to be complex. Many are little more than a piece of tartan fabric that is cut into a circle. Add a string and it can easily be hung on the Christmas tree.
Image by Dean Johnson on Flickr.< Return To Blog