We used to have a Christmas tree every year, but have never decorated it a Lithuanian way. We would put the same ornaments year after year- you know the Hallmark stuff picked at Walmart on clearance, fat Santas and red stars. Needless to say it started to dampen my family’s Christmas spirits to some extent. That is when I started to think that we’ve got to give our Christmas decorations a personalized and unique feel.
I started to read magazines checking out the different ornaments and unique ideas. Accidentally I came across an article about Christmas in Lithuania and its archaic decoration traditions with featured ornaments made of straw that Lithuanians have been using as house decorations during weddings and other festive occasions for many centuries.
Now, I have to confess that as a first-generation American Lithuanian I am not complete stranger to Lithuanian customs and traditions, although I was never too excited about them. But when I read that article and saw the pictures with all those wonderful ornaments I knew instantly that our Christmas tree will be different next time.
Luckily, I went on a trip to Lithuania for a family reunion soon after where I managed to get these decorations at one of the dozens of souvenirs shops in Vilnius old town. They were of all shapes: stars, snowflakes, chains, and other geometric patterns.
I love the Lithuanian ornaments on my tree – they’re so elegant, natural and environmentally friendly! And let’s be honest, what’s not less important, our Christmas tree has become a great hit among our friends.