When most people hear the word kugel, they think of the Jewish pudding, but kugel is actually a German word for a ball or a sphere, which is how kugel also came to be the word for early German glass Christmas ornaments.
German glass ornaments were a staple of Christmas decorations until well into the 20th century, so if you’re looking for something more than the basic globe, you’ll find clowns, dogs, Indians, Santas and even beetles! Because of their ephemeral nature and because they were handled so frequently, early Christmas kugels didn’t survive in great numbers and are very collectible today. Since older ones can be more valuable than newer ones, the challenge is accurately assessing their age.
So take a close look when you’re unpacking those ornaments that have been passed down through your family — you might find some real surprises on your tree as well as under it! For more information and pictures of collectible ornaments visit our p4A Antiques Reference database. All you need is your library card and you could find you have a hidden Christmas treasure!