Christmas Ornaments & Décor 

By Karen Parr-Moody

 

GasLamp is always a winter wonderland around the Christmas holidays, the booths tinted with the glow of Christmas. Currently the booths feature an array of handmade and vintage ornaments, inventive tabletop decor and one-of-a-kind items that can't be found anywhere else in Nashville, all perfect for last-minute home decorating or as gifts.

 

An ocelot and a poodle make a cute duo hanging from the Christmas tree. These felt finger puppets were made by artisans who work in a fair trade production center in Kathmandu, Nepal (photo, right; each ornament, $13.50; Booth T-357).  Each one has a string attached so that it can be used as an ornament; but each one is also designed so that it can be used as a finger puppet or to top a pencil. The artisans who produce these animals are paid a living wage, use sustainable practices and are ensured a safe and healthy work environment. The range of animals includes raccoons, foxes, lions, giraffes, squirrels and hedgehogs; each one is made using environmentally-friendly dyes and 100% natural Nepali wool.

 

Many Christmas traditions began in Germany. After the symbol of Santa Claus, birds, such as these lovely blue and burgundy ones in the photo, left, were among the most common figural tree ornaments (felted wool birds, $6 each; Booth T-269). They also retain religious symbolism, as they are thought to be biblical messengers for God, bringing love and peace to the world. Birds are also considered to be a symbol of good luck and good fortune. When German families and Victorian families cut down their Christmas tree, it was believed that finding a bird's nest in it was a sign that good luck would come to them in the upcoming year.

 

This charming, old-fashioned angel is clad in a silver glitter night gown (photo, right; $10; Booth T-269). This heavenly creature has whimsical wings and, across her hips, a strand of paper letters spelling out the word "Love." She's just a darling, a perfect addition to a vintage-style, low-key Christmas.

 

Also at Booth T-357, which is a whirlwind of Christmas decor, is  a range of Cody Foster Original houses and churches; the one in the photo, below left, includes a tiny sheep ($72, T-357). Cody Foster founded his craft business in 1991, when he was just 16. He learned his designing and construction skills from his grandmother. Foster then went on to become famous in the artisan community for reviving the German Christmas tradition of glittery “putz” villages.  

 

For those who love to decorate, Christmas is such a joyous time of year in which to spread one's creative wings. At GasLamp, there is no end of holiday items with which to trim the tree and the house in a beautiful, whimsical, authentic manner.

 

 

 

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