Every year, my family used to exchange Christmas ornaments; when I was young, they were handmade, and later, when I started babysitting, I would put together my kid-watching funds to buy new additions to my aunt and uncle and grandmother's trees.
We weren't the only family to do this; ornaments are a popular gift and its always fun to add to someone else's tree. Over time, tree decorations get lost or break, and besides, there's always room on the tree for a new addition. They are an easy gift, and fun to pick out for the gift-giver.
If you are considering buying ornaments this year, try to buy directly from artisans or projects that give back to those who make them. Then you'll have given both the gift of support to an artist or collective as well as a present to your friend or family. A selection of ornaments can also be a great hostess gift, or thank you. Consider mixing materials and styles to create a complimentary collection of colors and textures. Each of the materials below is different, but they would all work together.
Revelstudio's handblown glass ornaments come in a number of colors and shapes, and are made with "...a technique called "feathering" where a tool is dragged through the color while it is hot to create a pattern resembling a feather." Glass ornaments look beautiful in a tree or hanging from a window sash or door frame, too.
These three kings ornaments are made from gourds, and are created by Manos Amigas, "..a fair trade organization that supports small artisan organizations by training and finding markets for their products. Manos Amigas gives 20 percent of its profits of help fund social welfare projects, like school scholarships, uniforms, and a feeding program for poor children."
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