While hunting for a gift for a friend who recently married, I stumbled across the German Bride’s Christmas Ornaments. Now, I really enjoy sharing German Christmas Traditions with all of you, but this was a new one to me. (Just because I grew up celebrating a “German Christmas”, it doesn’t mean that I am familiar with ALL of the German Christmas Customs from Bavaria to Hamburg… )
So I did some digging. Turns out, the German Bride Ornaments are a newer “old Bavarian tradition”. That said, it is a sweet and thoughtful gift for any newlywed couple just starting out on their lives together. These beautiful starter ornaments are enough to decorate a small tree… and each is loaded with the kind of symbolism that will remind them of what their lives together are all about. 12 Ornaments (One for each month of the year? Another symbol?) are made from blown glass, and come in a lined wooden box to insure that they last a lifetime.
History of Glass Ornaments
In the 1820s, Hans Greiner, a descendant of the Hans Greiner who established the first glass works in Lauscha, Germany, (along with Christoph Muller) began producing Glass Ornaments in the shape of fruits and nuts. (Legend has it, he could not afford real fruits and nuts for his family Christmas tree, so he blew them from glass instead. These became quite popular, and the process was improved by combining blown glass with special molds. Later, they added mercury or silver nitrate to the inside of the glass which gave them a beautiful silvery sheen. Today, the 14th generation of the family operates Inge Glas… and they still produce ornaments in much the same way. Their collection has over 6000 molds, many of which are antique, dating back to the 1850s.
Still, extra care is taken in the production of the German Brides Christmas Ornaments.
German Brides Christmas Ornaments
These German Bride Ornaments all have special meaning. Hanging them from their Christmas Tree will insure happiness and blessings for the year.
You will note that there are 15 items on this list. Different sources list different symbols and different meanings. This is not as strange as you would think… I see legends and traditions like a game of Telephone. Messages get passed along, and change just a bit along the way. Choose what is best for you.
(And I’m sure it’s no accident that there are a few fertility symbols…)
You will find the ornaments in sets of 6 or 12… and there is one additional set that just has a wedding theme.
German Bride Ornaments Symbolism
Heart– symbolizes true love in the home
Home– symbolizes the family shelter
Angel– symbolizes faith and God
Church– symbolizes God’s presence in their lives
Basket of Fruit– symbolizes plenty to eat…and also generosity
Teapot– symbolizes hospitality
Bird– symbolizes happiness and joy
Bird in a Nest– symbolizes confidence in the shelter
Pine Cone– symbolizes eternity… also motherhood and fruitfulness
Animal– symbolizes peace with nature
Fish- symbolizes Christ… and also fertility
Rabbit– symbolizes hope and faith… and also fertility
Rose- symbolizes the Virgin Mary… and also beauty
Flower Basket– symbolizes beauty in the home…and also good wishes
St Nicholas/ Santa– symbolizes giving and sharing
Buy a set of German Brides Christmas Ornaments HERE
Inge Glass has a two different sizes-
Mini– ornaments are 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches
Regular- ornaments are 2 1/4 to 4 1/4 inches
You can also get a box of just 6 … these symbolize the bride, love and home.
Old World Bridal Ornaments
You can also get lovely German Bride Ornaments from Old World. They come in a beautiful lined box with a certificate explaining the symbolism. Currently, they have a special “tree” to go with the ornaments (as of this posting, it is free with the order of the 12 ornament set)
Kurt Adler German Bride Ornaments
Kurt Adler is well known for exporting quality Christmas Ornaments since World War II.
German Bride and Groom Christmas Ornaments
Don’t want to get the big set? you can order Bride and Groom Ornaments. Wouldn’t these be cute for a Winter wedding?
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