First Christmas Ornaments - History


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Ways to Recycle Those First Christmas Ornaments
In my family, our first Christmas ornament collections were pretty humble—boxes of colored glass bulbs purchased at a dollar store, some hand-me down garlands and tinsel, and a lot of lights. The hand me downs were particularly loved, because they came with all the memories of my parents Christmases when they were children. Our first Christmas ornament was a red plastic Santa my dad had been given when he was a boy. Every Christmas he was supposed to place a new penny inside of it as a memory of each passing year. I think the Santa finally broke sometime when I was in my teen years, unable to bear the weight of decades of pennies.


There’s a lot of excitement and emotion that goes into decorating a tree with our first Christmas ornament collections. Traditions are being passed down, new ones are being created, and families are growing and shrinking. That’s why it’s so difficult to separate ourselves from our first Christmas ornament—there are too many memories attached to them. But as time progresses, our first Christmas ornament pieces get old, or cracked, or become unfashionable, and we’re faced with a difficult choice: to save, or to keep?


Throwing them away seems almost impossible—like throwing a way a scrapbook or a file of folders. But there are ways that we can use our first Christmas ornament collections that don’t involve throwing them out. It’s just about using them for different parts of the holiday decorating. For example, of our first Christmas ornament pieces, my dad’s “penny Santa” made a fantastic rearview mirror accessory. We hung it from the mirror so that we could see it whenever we had to run Christmas errands like heading back to the mall for the 30th time that week. It’s bright red suit and cherry demeanor put us all in the right mood for holiday shopping.

Another way we can recycle our first Christmas ornament decorations that are past their sell-by date is to use them in decorating a wreath. Simply take some wire and attach some of the Christmas glass balls to the wreath for a little extra sparkle. If you have a lot of ball ornaments, consider buying a wire wreath-frame and creating a wreath entirely out of Christmas ornaments. When it comes to ball ornaments, our first Christmas ornament balls were all broken over the course of 5 children, but we had several neighbors who were able to use their excess to make cheerful holiday wreaths that managed to catch the twinkling lights perfectly.


Our first Christmas ornament collections can also make a wonderful centerpiece for our big Christmas dinners, or decorations for the side tables at a Christmas party. Take a pretty bowl or a vase, and fill it with ornaments, pinecones, or some combination of the two. If you’d like, you can also place pine boughs into it as well to help the room smell fragrant. Another good idea we had for party décor was using our first Christmas ornament pieces to create some drama by attaching them to the chandelier! Use your imagination, and you’ll be surprised how fun and versatile decorating with those old ornaments can be.