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The Legend of the Christmas Spider - the Tradition of Tinsel

Posted on December 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

The story of the Christmas Spider appears in many different versions throughout central and eastern Europe. In all of them the spiders' webs, spun on Christmas Eve, turn to silver and are seen as the beginning of the beautiful tradition of hanging sparkling tinsel on your Christmas tree. The tinsel symbolizes a Christmas miracle from long ago. 

And, the Christmas Spider legend beckons us to give thanks to the industrious spiders by hanging a spider ornament in a special place on our trees.

     

In Germany, the legend has it that a poor woman was unable to provide the traditional decorations for the Christmas holiday. A spider, who had narrowly escaped the dust mop, made his home in her tree and began to spin beautiful webs. On Christmas morning, the first light of the day struck the cobwebs, turning them to silver. When the woman awoke, she found the tree covered with silver treasure - the spider had brought good fortune! And the tradition of hanging tinsel on one's Christmas tree was begun.

This Christmas, pair the Christmas Spider ornament from Inge-Glas with one of these two delightful children's books as a charming addition to your Christmas traditions.

Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel by Shirley Cimo with illustrations by Jane Manning - 

and

The Spider's Gift: A Ukrainian Christmas Story by retold by Eric A. Kimmel with illustrations by Katya Krenina 

There is nothing more special than adding a touch of folklore with a piece of Inge-Glas folk art to your Christmas.

Enjoy our Pinterest Board on Inge-Glas - here

 

Posted in Christmas Legends, Christmas Traditions, German Christmas, German Traditions, Inge-Glas

Olde German Treasures Silver Gift Set from Inge-Glas

Posted on November 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

In our quest to create Inge-Glas gift sets - ones that meet all your gift needs, including smaller ones for a wedding or bridal shower present, we were particularly struck with the Silver ornaments from the Olde German Treasures collection. 

Inge-Glas Olde German Treasures celebrate both German tradition and art form. It was the style around 1900 for a tree to be decorated using only silver and white. To honor that tradition with their Olde German Tresures collection Inge-Glas carefully chose ornaments made from real antique, lovingly restored, old-glass blowing moulds. As always, Inge-Glas ornaments are mouth-blown and use pure sterling silver. 

For the bride and groom, the tradition is to present a  collection of good wishes .... symbols of a happy home to bring good fortune.  The ornaments come in an Inge-Glas gift box and have a symbol card explaining their importance:

Love Forever Heart - True Love - 3"
Olde German Companion Bird - Happiness and Joy - 5-1/2 long"
Silver Pine Cone - Motherhood and Fruitfulness - 4-3/4"

Our feeling was that they are simply elegant. As a gift, whether for a wedding, or a dear friend, they are classic, distinguished, and will always stand out on a tree - catching the light in much the same way that tinsel does.

To find the Silver Gift Set - click here or on the image above.  They are, indeed, rather irresistible!

 

Posted in Christmas Traditions, German Christmas, German Folk Art, German Traditions, Inge-Glas

Bavarian Inge-Glas Gift Set - for the Bride and Groom and Everyone Else

Posted on November 11, 2015 | 0 Comments

We decided to create smaller Inge-Glas Bride's Tree/Gift sets this year. It just made sense to have a variety of sizes available. Having enjoyed the delight of living in Bavaria for seven years, creating this specialized Bavarian Gift Set of three (3) full-size ornaments came naturally. Presented in an Inge-Glas Gift Box, each set comes with a symbol card for each individual ornament.

The set is of three of the 12 symbolic ornaments for a bride's tree - a collection of good wishes - symbols of a happy home to bring good fortune. Yes, for the bride and groom in your life, but simply a wonderful gift set for those who celebrate a German Christmas.

Lebkuchen Heart - True Love - 3-1/4"
Edelweiss Flower - Good Wishes - 2-1/4"
Red Alpine Pine Cone - Motherhood and Fruitfulness - 5"

 

The ornaments range from 2-1/4 to 5".  Each ornament is wrapped in Inge-Glas acid free paper. Made in Germany by Inge-Glas, the Oldest Christmas Ornament Company in the World.

Perfect for those in your life who will enjoy touches of folk art that will bring back memories of a German Christmas, especially alpine meadows and forests, and the essential Christmas Lebkuchen from Nuremberg. 

 

Posted in Christmas Traditions, German Christmas, German Folk Art, German Traditions, Inge-Glas

The Legend of the Acorn - "From Little Acorns Come Mighty Oaks"

Posted on October 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

The oak tree is America's National Tree. The oak signifies courage and power - standing strong and proud through the ages. Thus the proverb "from little acorns come mighty oaks." That a tiny seed produces a mighty oak, reminds us that great results can be born of humble beginnings. Those who provide care and comfort to children are revered. Their is a special recognition for those who exercise the power of nurture - they and we live to see great acts of kindness, love, and success from our children / the next generation. 

The acorn sustains countless wild creatures. "... deer, gray squirrels, red squirrels, chipmunks, wild turkeys, crows, flying squirrels, rabbits, opossums, blue jays, quail,  raccoons, wood ducks—more than 100 U.S. vertebrate species eat acorns. In autumn and winter, the acorn is the cheeseburger of the forest ecosystem—fairly easy to find and nicely packaged. They are one of the most valuable food resources available for wildlife.... Like wine, acorns come in two basic types: red and white, depending on the type of oak they come from.... (Red and White Oaks have a) difference in tannin, an astringent chemical common in plants, (which) affects how wildlife use acorns.... (the tannin in) red acorns makes them less palatable to wildlife, both due to taste and digestibility. Ergo, animals vacuum up acorns from the white oak group with more gusto than they do the reds." - National Wildlife Federation

The acorn is revered as a Christmas ornament. In Germany the oak tree is considered sacred and the acorn - the fruit, the seed, the origin of the oak - is considered a symbol of good luck. Early German Christmas trees were laden with cones, cookies and nuts, and most notably the acorn, to commemorate the gift of life and good fortune. 

Inge-Glas (the oldest Christmas ornament company in the world) gives us this delightful acorn ornament - 

   

 

Majestic Oak                       

We want to share with you two special children's books celebrating the acorn and the oak - Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schafer and The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward...

                    

these are books to share with your next generation or to enjoy alone as peaceful commemorations of the glorious world we live in...wonderful symbols of family and the natural world we are all blessed with!

Enjoy our Pinterest Board on Inge-Glas - here and on Trees - here

Posted in Christmas Legends, Christmas Traditions, German Christmas, German Folk Art, German Traditions, Inge-Glas

Inge-Glas Gift Set of Six Full-Size Ornaments

Posted on October 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

My Growing Traditions has created this Gift Set of six (6) full-size ornaments.  

 

Perfect for everyone!   "A collection of good wishes .... symbols of a happy home to bring good fortune." - Inge-Glas  Works especially well for the bride and groom in your life, but who wouldn't enjoy receiving these exquisite ornaments.

Santa - Unselfishness and Goodwill - 3-3/4"
Pine Cone - Motherhood and Fruitfulness - 2-3/4"
Angel - God's Guidance in the Home - 3-1/3"
Flower Basket - Good Wishes - 2-3/4"
Bird - Happiness and Joy - 5-1/2" long
Heart - True Love - 2-3/4"

The ornaments range from 2-1/2" to 4-1/4"

Each ornament is wrapped in Inge-Glas acid free paper 

The set of Inge-Glas ornaments is presented in an Inge-Glas Gift Box

 

and comes with symbol cards for each individual ornament as shown in the Santa symbol card below -

__________
Inge-Glas of Germany - since 1596
Oldest Christmas Ornament Company in the World
Exclusive 5-Point Star Crown
Environmentally committed workshop
Pure high grade German glass and lead free paints, lacquers, and glitters
Dedicated to the ecological future of our planet and 
preserving their centuries-old tradition of the art of glassblowing
Mouth-blown, hand-painted in Germany
Inge-Glas is the premier classic glass ornament workshop

Enjoy our Inge-Glas Pinterest Board - here

Posted in Christmas Legends, German Christmas, German Traditions, Inge-Glas

The Inge-Glas Olde German Treasures - Silver Collection - Truly Special

Posted on December 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

We all celebrate that Inge-Glas of Germany is the oldest Christmas ornament company in the world (since 1596). They hold more than 12,000 antique moulds passed down through the generations and reintroduce ornaments made from antique moulds each year. For collectors and those of us who simply appreciate the handing down of traditions, we enjoy knowing which of Inge-Glas' current offerings are made from the moulds that represent the history of glass Christmas ornaments.

               

Above: Noble Nikolaus, Love Forever, and Silver Pine Cone

The Olde German Treasures - Silver Collection is built around Inge-Glas' heirloom moulds. 

            

Left to right: Vintage Silver Star, Silver Fantasy, and Vintage Acorn

The collection honors the German tradition of the early 1900s when it was stylish to decorate Christmas trees with glass ornaments using only the colors silver and white. This, during the Victorian era is considered to have been one of the first concepts of a themed tree - doing away with all color and creating a simpler all-silver or all-white tree. There were stories about people washing their ornaments so that they were either white or just silver. The Olde German Treasures are created with Inge-Glas' antique, lovingly restored, old glass-blowing moulds. They are mouth-blown and use pure sterling silver to highlight the delicate, hand decorated filigree patterns. Each ornament has an 'Olde German Treasures' hang tag.

They add a stunning reflection of light on your Christmas tree - elegant, simple, and of the utmost tradition.

Click on the images or links above to find these Silver Collection ornaments in our shop.

Enjoy our Inge-Glas Pinterest Board!

Posted in Christmas Traditions, German Christmas, Inge-Glas

December 13th is the Day of Santa Lucia - The Bearer of Light

Posted on December 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

This year we were pleased to discover the official Swedish Government internet page which explores everything Swedish, including Swedish traditions and a fun and informative page on Santa Lucia - the bearer of light - a celebration that occurs each year on the 13th of December. The Swedish website

includes an extensive history of how the Santa Lucia tradition came to be, and how Santa Lucia's Day is celebrated in modern Sweden: "Alongside Midsummer, the Lucia celebrations represent one of the foremost cultural traditions in Sweden, with their clear reference to life in the peasant communities of old: darkness and light, cold and warmth.

Lucia is an ancient mythical figure with an abiding role as a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters.  The many Lucia songs all have the same theme:

The night treads heavily
around yards and dwellings
In places unreached by sun,
the shadows brood
Into our dark house she comes,
bearing lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia
All Swedes know the standard Lucia song by heart, and everyone can sing it, in or out of tune. On the morning of Lucia Day, the radio plays some rather more expert renderings, by school choirs or the like.
The Lucia celebrations also include ginger snaps and sweet, saffron-flavoured buns (lussekatter) shaped like curled-up cats and with raisin eyes. You eat them with glögg or coffee."

Santa Lucia's Day is celebrated throughout Europe, but, of course especially in the Scandinavia countries.  Inge-Glas of Germany memorializes her in their lovely mouth-blown Christmas ornament

Continuing the Scandinavian theme, this year we once again carry Swedish Angel Chimes and for the first time offer Nils Olsson's Dala Horses.

                                                                             You may also enjoy our Pinterest board on Scandinavia.

Posted in Christmas Candles, Christmas Legends, Christmas Traditions, Dala Horses, Inge-Glas, Scandinavia

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