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The first known Christmas ornaments were made of glass and were produced in in the 1800’s. Even then, the beauty of painting them counteracted the drabness of the plain glass. Hand-painted ornaments have been around for centuries. When ornaments were brought to America from Europe, they were fairly small in size until the trend caught on, spurring on larger and larger ornaments. Typically, the brighter in color of the ornaments, the more wealthy the family or person who possessed them. Usually an ornate, detailed ornament with a lot of different colors signified that the person was wealthy. Hand-painted ornaments are still very popular today, with artisans from all around the world creating and painting these beautiful adornments. They can range from snowmen to Santa Clauses, bells to birds, fruit to bears, and so on. The material used to make hand-painted ornaments also varies depending upon the source. While most companies still choose glass as a popular medium, wood, resin, and other plastics are also a common choice. If you decide to purchase hand-painted ornaments, remember that every one will be different and unique in its own way. Therefore, if you pick out something you see online, note that its colors and features might vary since every one is painted by hand. Of course, this is what makes them so special! While the new trends of the 1960’s at Christmas incorporated more abstract shapes, many Americans began to throw out their older hand-painted ornaments. This makes some of the vintage hand-painted ornaments very valuable. Luckily, the beauty of these hand-painted ornaments shined through, and their popularity rose again in the 1970’s, and has remained steady ever since. In fact, many consumers prefer hand-painted ornaments to the generic “balls” sold in stores. Hand-painted ornaments make wonderful gifts and add beauty and life to your Christmas tree.