Branch Out

December 2017 View more

A Christmas tree without ornaments is, well . . . just another potted plant taking up space in front of the living room window. But traditional pendent decor transforms any conifer into something truly beautiful, that appears only once per year. Special ornaments are often tied to personal milestones, such as a birth or vacation, and can represent these events in an evolving visual history.

The tradition of hanging adornments goes back hundreds of years, and the earliest trees were covered in fruits, nuts and paper flowers. In the 1800s, German entrepreneurs began mass-producing glass ornaments, then Britain’s Queen Victoria further popularized the practice when a photo of her heavily ornamented tree appeared in a women’s magazine.

This year, consider a new holiday tradition: Start an heirloom-quality ornament collection that will be enjoyed by generations. We assembled a few of 2017’s most beautiful and unique designer ornaments here.

Clockwise, from top
Waterford 2017 annual snowstar ornament
($65) from Von Maur, Lenox 2017 annual silver bell ornament ($20) from Von Maur, Jay Strongwater 2017 annual metal ornament ($295) from Nieman Marcus, Waterford cased ball red ornament ($150) from Von Maur, Christopher Radko Christmas angel ornament ($63) from Von Maur, Swarovski 2017 annual Christmas ball ornament ($99) from Von Maur, Baccarat 2017 annual noel crystal ornament in gold ($195) from Neiman Marcus, Old World Christmas covered bridge ornament ($16) from Little Luxuries, Michael Aram botanical leaf fairy ornament ($70) from Bloomingdale’s.

Ornament stand ($39) from The Little Traveler.