When I was little, it seemed that each ornament held a story, whether it was the paper-cut animals that my mother made as a recent RISD graduate, or the pale orbs of the vintage lights inherited from my father's mother, or Grandma Sylvia's felt baker man from Norway. Today I can still tell you the tale behind each of my ornaments, from the Guatemalan worry santas I bought during my first Christmas after college to the glitter rabbit I purchased last month at ABC Carpet and Home while in New York for the Remodelista book launch.
If you, too, are looking for storied ornaments to trim your tree, we suggest the following, all of which were inspired by nature and shaped by hand.
Above: From Germany, the Snug Trio, a set of geometric wooden pendants that you assemble; €16.90 .
Above: One of my all-time favorite ornaments is a laser-cut snowflake made by Quite Alright of Colorado that we featured in our 2011 Holiday Ornament Roundup. This year, Quite Alright has produced another original line of simple yet inspired ornaments, such as this Dala Horse, one of a set of 4 horses that are each painted differently and on both sides; $13.
Above: Made by Etsy seller Eljuks in Finland, this Set of 6 Hand-Crocheted Cotton Snowflakes are as delicate and individual as the real thing; $16. Also available individually or in sets of up to 15 mini flakes.
Above: Woodland Tale's Red and Gray Bird Hanging Ornament is hand stitched in the Ukraine from recycled cotton; $29.
Above: Paperiaarre's Origami Star Set is made in Finland from vintage discarded books; $10 for three.
Above: Pilosale's Fabric Engraving Ornaments are printed with 19th century engravings. $38 for three at Terrain.
Above: Maisy and Alice's Vintage Style 3-D Paper Baubles are modeled after mid-century decorations. In addition to white, they're made in ivory, light gray, and red; $9 for three.
Above: More handwork from Quite Alright, a fragrant Set of 3 Balsam Fir Sachet Trees; $15.
Above: From our friend Lisa Jones of Pigeon Toe Ceramics in Portland, Oregon, this hand-thrown porcelain Ribbed Bell Ornament has a ceramic clapper and hangs from a leather cord that comes in seven colors (cherry, shown here); $24 each.
Looking for more holiday trim? Get inspired by all of our Favorite Holiday Decor. And to make sure we've got everyone on your list covered, we're posting a new gift guide every weekday from now until Christmas. See all of the Gift Guides to date in our archive.