The earliest ornaments, in the early 1800â€™s, were food: apples, onions, pears, nuts, candies, and fruits. These, along with the evergreen trees themselves, represented the certainty that life would return in the Spring.
As the idea of decorated Christmas trees spread, various countries added their own variations. The Germans, for instance, began hanging other types of food on their trees, such as, gingerbread or other hard cookies, baked in the shape of fruits, stars, hearts, angels, and bells. Americans would string long strands of cranberries or popcorn to circle their trees. In the UK, creative ornaments of lace, paper or other materials showed the variety of interests and talents of their makers.
Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, trees were decorated with the creations of the loving hands of family and friends. In Lauscha, Germany, an area long know for its glass blowing, began to make ornaments that were sold strictly as Christmas ornaments. Initially replicating fruits, nuts and other food items, they soon branched out and began to manufacture hearts, stars and other shapes that had been created out of cookies.
Until the late 1930’s ornaments in America were imported from Europe. The Corning Company of Corning of New York determined a way to make American glass ornaments. These ornaments were lacquered by machine on the outside and were silvered on the inside so they would remain â€œshiny brightâ€ for longer periods. (An interesting side note: There is a legend that says if you placed a reflective ornament on your tree any evil spirits trying to enter your home would see their reflections and withdraw, terrified of what they saw.)
By 1940 Corning was making about 300,000 ornaments a day, compared with the perhaps 600 for a skilled German glassblower companies. Today, it has became harder and harder to actually see the tree beneath all the ornaments.
So how do we transform this to make it a reminder of the birth of Jesus Christ?
Keep in mind as you hang your ornaments, that the first ornaments were hung on the tree as a symbol of the certainty that new life would return in the Spring. Think on the certain fact that Christ was born, died, and came back to life to give us new life in Him. 1 Peter 1:3-4 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! God has given us a new birth because of his great mercy. We have been born into a new life that has a confidence which is alive because Jesus Christ has come back to life. We have been born into a new life which has an inheritance that can’t be destroyed or corrupted and can’t fade away. That inheritance is kept in heaven for you.