Those who trace these types of things relay that the first Christmas ornaments were produced by a German glassblower in the 16th century. Originally, the ornaments came primarily in the shape of fruits or nuts.
After the glass was blown and cooled, the ornaments were hand-painted and topped with a cap and hook.
What began as a modest attempt to add decorations to Christmas trees has grown into a worldwide industry, with ornament makers – at times – going to extremes to create glittering tributes to the birth of a poor lad born in a manger in Bethlehem.
In 2010, for example, a British jeweler, Embee Jewels of London, paired with Hallmark Jewelers to create an ornament adorned with 1,578 diamonds and 188 rubies. The single bauble sold at auction for an estimated $130,000.
But rich or poor, the best Christmas ornaments have always been those that cost not a penny: the radiant smiles of the men, women, and children that truly light up the holiday.
Whether in the Little Town of Bethlehem or at a Christmas ornament stand like the one pictured here, professional WBIS photographers span the globe in search of radiant, life-affirming smiles. You can browse an inspiring gallery of more than 550 WBIS photos here.
Daily on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, the We Believe in Smiles™ campaign posts a fresh portrait of an individual (or individuals) who reminds us all of the magic of a healthy smile. DOCS Education is proud to be the founding global sponsor of WBIS, whose message is simple: No politics. No marketing. No B.S.
[Photography by Avital portrait first posted online December 2018. ©2018 We Believe in Smiles™. All rights reserved. To inquire about purchasing or leasing a photo canvass of this or any other WBIS photograph for your office or home, phone 844-228-4825.]