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Xmas Baubles - Christmas Tree Bauble Decoration Guide

Updated on November 20, 2009

What would the festive season be without Christmas tree baubles? Also known as Christmas balls, these beautiful, brightly colored Christmas ornaments are an essential part of xmas décor for most homes. This article takes a look at the different types of Christmas bauble that are available, as well as at their history.


Christmas Bauble History

Christmas bauble decorations aren't a recent invention. In fact, people have been decorating their trees with baubles for many years, and they were first produced commercially as far back as 1847. Xmas baubles are traditionally made from glass, and were first developed by Hans Greiner in Lauscha, in Germany. He made glass beads, in the form of garlands, which proved to be highly popular, first within Germany, and then later on elsewhere, thanks to the influence of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, who decorated their tree with German glassware. Other artisans developed and refined his techniques, and over time, began to produce baubles in various designs.  Lauscha's Christmas tree baubles were later imported to the US in the 1880s by F.W. Woolworth.

Today, Christmas baubles and other tree decorations are produced worldwide, although several firms still operate in Lauscha. Most modern baubles are now made from plastic, although specialty glass baubles are still in production.

Types of Christmas Bauble

Anyone shopping for Xmas baubles these days is spoiled for choice, as there is an almost endless choice of designs available. Here are the main options:

Glass Baubles & Other Materials
You'll need to decide if you want to buy traditional glass baubles or those made from other materials. As noted earlier, most baubles these days are made from plastics, such as polystyrene, and these materials have many advantages. For one thing, it is cheaper to produce, making it a good choice for the budget conscious. It is also much safer; plastic baubles are less likely to break if they should fall from the tree, and they're certainly the best choice for anyone with children or pets.

Glass Xmas baubles are more of a luxury item. They're more expensive and more delicate, but they do have an undeniable appeal, and may be worth splashing out for if you want something really special with which to decorate your tree.

Christmas baubles can also be found in other materials, such as wood or papier mache, although these are rarer.

Bauble Shapes & Designs
Round baubles are the most popular and traditional shape, and are probably available in the most variety. However, you can also buy Christmas baubles in a range of other shapes, from simple geometrical shapes such as ovals and stars to more elaborate sculpted shapes such as human and animal figurines. As with the round variety, these are made from various materials, and may be decorated simply or ornately.

Large Baubles

Most standard Xmas baubles are around two inches in diameter, give or take a little. However, you can get oversized baubles, which are much larger, and are ideal for decorating larger trees or other areas.

Themed Baubles

Baubles may be plain in design, with the focus on their beautiful colours, or alternatively, they may feature themed designs, such as Christmas motifs like Santa Claus, snowmen etc. You can also get Disney Christmas baubles and other popular designs, which can be especially appealing to children.

Personalized Baubles
If none of the designs in the shops appeal to you, or you just want to try something a bit different, you could opt for personalised baubles. These are available to buy online, and such sites give you the option to have baubles printed with your own message and/or designs. These are a great gift idea, and really add a special touch to your Christmas decor.

Handmade Baubles
Another alternative, similar to the above, is to make your own Xmas baubles. You can buy premade plain baubles that you can then paint with your own designs, or add glitter, sequins, ribbons and other materials to give a Christmassy effect. Or if you're feeling especially creative, you could make them from scratch, using papier mache etc.

Edible Xmas Baubles

Christmas is a time when many people like to indulge a little in their favourite foods, so it's no surprise that you can get edible baubles to hang from the tree.  Chocolate baubles are especially popular, and are available in various shapes and designs. However, you can also get biscuit baubles and other types too.

Bauble Wreaths and Other Decorations
Although baubles are most commonly used singly, to hang on the tree, they're also used to create other types of decoration, such as Christmas wreaths in which many baubles are attached to a wreath (often alongside leaves and other items) to create a beautiful combination of colours and textures.

Buying Baubles For Xmas

Being so popular, Christmas baubles are very easy to find, and can be purchased from most stores that sell Christmas items. However, you might want to look online too, as you'll probably find a larger selection and better prices on the web – not to mention those more unusual styles that can be hard to find in the stores.

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