Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Antique German Santa Christmas Ornament

The famous psychiatrist Eric Berne once said, "Human life is mainly a process of filling time until the arrival of death or Santa Claus." That's perhaps a bleak and rather reductionist outlook, but I have to admit, I do spend a lot of time looking forward to Santa's arrival each year.

As a fan of the big guy in red, my holiday collections include a large assortment of Santa themed Christmas ornaments. In fact, my tree is decorated solely with Santa pieces, mostly in blown glass. I think I just like the tidiness and symmetry of a single decorating theme; but I suppose it's possible my Santa tree represents some subconscious "sucking up" to the great gift-giver himself. After all, what could be more flattering to him than an entire Christmas tree covered with representations of himself? Maybe my Santa tree inspires him to leave me extra presents.

Anyway, here's one of my favorite Santa ornaments, made in Germany circa the 1920s. The clear glass ball houses a teeny tiny Germanic Father Christmas, along with a couple of itty bitty bottle brush trees and some fake snow. It's like a little Christmasy world in there...


  1. That's pretty fascinating. My fourth-grade teacher in Germany decorated her Christmas tree with real candles. Maybe other people did that too, but even then I thought it was scary.

  2. Hi Christine!

    The Victorians were big on candle-lit trees, too, and I've got some of the special holders they sold back then for the candles, which clipped onto the branches. It's astounding to me that anyone survived the Christmas season without their houses burning down back then...