In Europe, the first decorated Christmas trees were adorned with apples, white candy canes and pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts and flowers. Glass baubles were first made in Lauscha, Germany, including garlands of glass beads and glass and tin figures that could be hung on trees. Artisans heated a glass tube over a flame, then inserted the tube into a clay mold, blowing the heated glass to expand into the shape of the mold. The original ornaments were only in the shape of fruits and nuts. After the glass cooled, a silver nitrate solution was swirled into it, a silvering technique developed in the 1850s. The ornament was hand-painted and topped with a cap and hook. The Christmas baubles became popular throughout Germany.
On Christmas Eve 1832, a young Victoria wrote about her delight at having a tree, hung with lights, ornaments, and presents placed round it. In the 1840s, after a picture of Victoria's Christmas tree was shown in a London newspaper decorated with glass ornaments and baubles from her husband Prince Albert's native Germany, Lauscha began exporting its products throughout Europe. Large German glass ornaments from this period were called kugels, and are highly sought after today. In the 1880s, American F. W. Woolworth discovered these Lauscha Christmas baubles during a visit to Germany, and he made a fortune importing them to the United States.
The modern-day image of Santa Claus was created in the 1840 Clement Moore's 1840 classic, A Visit From Saint Nicholas, and by the American cartoonist Thomas Nast in 1863. Each year Nast drew for Harper's Weekly magazine a new image of Santa, that by 1880s, evolved into a form we recognize today. By the 1920s the image was standardized by advertisers.
This category has ornaments and decorations from Christmas past and present.