Is there a more enchanting sight than a fully decorated Christmas tree? The sacred evergreen tree, adorned with ornaments as a symbol of life and the return of spring after winter, has been a part of many cultural traditions in the last 2000 years. Now it’s embedded into ours, and we have something for you to make it look even more unusual – a collection of the unique trivia on the Christmas baubles. It’s by far one of the most revered festive ornaments. But do you know all there is to know about them?
1. The word “bauble” comes from Ancient Latin
Many people wonder why these spheric, colorful decorations are commonly called “baubles”. Is there a connection with “bubbles”? As it turns out, no! The etymology of the word “bauble” is very old.
The word came into the contemporary English language straight from Middle English and earlier from Old French, where “baubel, babel” meant “children’s toy”. But ultimately it seems that the origin of the word is in Latin “bellus”, which was an adjective meaning “pretty”.
It’s truly appropriate – the real Polish baubles made from hand-blown glass are the prettiest ornament there can be. So even if the Romans couldn’t have known that 2000 years ago, they have accidentally invented the most fitting name for these amazing little art projects.
2. The handmade Christmas baubles are still being made today!
The traditional glass baubles started to gain popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries in Germany. They have quickly become typical tree decorations also in Poland. At first, they were handmade, with each and every bauble a bit different from the other.
In the 20th century, the expansion and modernization of the manufacturing processes have changed that forever, and most of the baubles available today on the market are mass-produced, which makes them identical. But there’s another part of this story too: many local communities in Poland hadn’t stopped making handmade baubles.
And today you can still buy them (you can even buy such Christmas baubles wholesale!) from small family shops like the Joyland Factory in Krzywiń, Poland.
3. A Christmas bauble doesn’t have to be a ball
When we think about the standard baubles, our minds picture a Christmas tree full of red, green, or gold ball ornaments, shining with the reflected light. Big or tiny, they have to be balls, right?
Not true! The first baubles made with hand-blown and hand-painted techniques were indeed spherical, but today bauble lovers can choose from a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Traditional manufacturers like the Joyland Factory are using time-honored craftsmanship in the process.
But these technologies were very advanced even 200 years ago. That includes also the secrets on how to make a bauble in the shape of a dog, a crown, or even a lemon cake. And you can buy the wholesale baubles – including the unusually-shaped ones!
With the original Polish baubles, the tradition of local craftsmen is being kept alive, but also elevated. To keep the traditions alive means to preserve its methods and core, continually adding to it from your own creativity. The result is the magic of Christmas!