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German Christmas Ornaments

Updated on January 16, 2015

Germany is Famed for its Christmas Ornaments

Quality German Christmas ornaments on can bring a nostalgic touch of Old World charm to an otherwise hectic holiday shopping season. Finds from the whimsical to wonderful are available, and can give you the feeling of being in a real Christkindlmarkt, or Christmas Market, in Germany.

You need to shop with a careful eye, though, because many items described as "German" are inspired by German tradition but made in China, Poland or other lands. In addition, you'll want to make sure you are buying a new item, and not someone's re-gifted gift.

You'll also want to watch for authentic, traditional materials used throughout - wood, glass and metal parts are more durable and appealing than plastic. There is a warmth to the feel of wood that is not present in cheaper products made of other materials. Handmade items show thoughtful gift giving and can start a treasured family tradition. And there's no match for the attention to detail found in hand painted, hand crafted German Christmas ornaments.

Here's a quick guide to some of the German Christmas ornaments that truly reflect German craftsmanship and quality. All are new items, and most are rated at the highest level by previous purchasers.

Christmas Pickle

The Christmas Pickle is a bit of invented American silliness disguised as an old German tradition. The story is unknown in Germany, but has not stopped German artisans from catering to American wishes by producing hand blown glass pickles for the Christmas ornament market.

The story goes that an adult hides the pickle somewhere on the Christmas tree, and the first child to find it wins a prize or has good fortune for the coming year. Fiction it may be, but it’s a fun way to brighten everyone’s mood while gathering the family to decorate the tree together.

Inge Glas, a German Christmas ornament maker with over 100 years’ experience, produces a lovely little three-ornament set - Baby Gherkin, Gherkin and The Legendary Pickle. The ornaments range in size from just under 2” to over 4” long, in realistic colors and with the bumpy texture you’d expect in a truly fine pickle! The gift set comes in a neat wooden box that serves to protect the pickles when stored. Included is a card telling the tale of the Christmas Pickle, to carry on the fabrication for another generation. The Inge Glas pickle set earned 4 out of 5 stars.

Baby's First Christmas

Nothing beats the excitement of welcoming a new baby and celebrating the holidays as a family for the first time. Baby’s first Christmas can include a fine ornament set, also by Inge Glas, with three hand blown glass ornaments - “rubber” duckie, Christmas tree and Santa - packed in a small oval box about 6” long.

The ornaments are between 2 “ and 3” tall, and feature the sturdy suspension ring caps that distinguish the high quality of the company’s products.

Incense Smoker

Incense smokers are a lovely way to bring woodsy aromas indoors, or to subtly change the mood of a room from functional to fun during the holidays. These smokers can appear in dozens of shapes in German Christmas ornaments. All are designed to appeal to your sense of smell as well as sight.

Some of the best are carved and crafted in the Erzgebirge region of Germany. At nearly 8” tall, KWO’s friendly fat snowman is sure to fill the air and your heart with feelings of holiday warmth. The Chubby Snowman earned 5 out of 5 stars.


KWO offers a wide range of German Christmas ornaments, and what is more German than a nutcracker? At 13” tall (sized for a centerpiece or sofa table) and hand painted in brilliant red, Santa is studded with genuine Swarovski crystals.

This KWO Santa comes to you from the craftsmen of Olbernau, Germany, bearing gifts and grins for everyone. He clutches a tree in one hand and a cascade of toys and gifts in the other.

Wedding Gift

Many couples look to December as a romantic, heartwarming time to wed, leaving holiday shoppers with the added dilemma of an appropriate wedding gift. Inge Glas delivers again with a magnificent Bride’s Tree Ornament set, 12 hand blown glass ornaments nestled in a wooden storage box.

The ornaments range from slightly under 2” to around 3”, and feature a tiny house, heart and bouquet. This German Christmas ornament earned 5 out of 5 stars.

Yes, Nutcrackers Again!

During the Christmas holidays you can never have enough nutcrackers. Turning up in surprising corners of the home, these wooden wonders will gladden even the hardest hearts. A handmade, hand painted Steinbach nutcracker towering 16” stands out in traditional red and gold, and is signed by Karla Steinbach herself.

The Steinbach dynasty dates back to the 1800s and continues today with German Christmas ornaments of the highest quality. This Steinbach nutcracker scored 5 out of 5 stars.

Christmas Pyramid

One of the grander German Christmas ornaments is a German Christmas pyramid. This is a wooden tower with a central shaft and fan, turned by the convection currents of small candles arranged around the base of the ornament.

Richard Glaesser’s traditional religious three-tier nativity scene is Angels circle high above the Wise Men and Holy Family, all turning by the power of the 9 “ fan topping the ornament.

Another Christmas Pyramid!

Last in your stroll through your own little online Christkindlmarkt is the sort of eye-catching ornament that deserves a special place among your Christmas decorations. A German Christmas pyramid full of intricate detail and delightful characters, the offering by Mueller Seiffen is a 23” high masterpiece.

This showcase of the woodcarver’s art shows a village, snowman, Alpine skier and other figures turning around in their little tiered balconies. Naturally, this impressive piece earned 5 out of 5 stars.

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