Christmas Ornaments Reflecting Europe

by blackspanielgallery

Christmas ornaments reflecting Europe can bring the traditions of ancestors to those of European descent. And they look great in a decorating scheme.

Christmas ornaments reflecting Europe and various European heritages can be important to a family. These ornaments can express the family’s history by connecting to the places where the family originated generations ago. In other cases, the connection can be more current, such as for a family that has recently immigrated. It is important to maintain a connection to one’s history.

Christmas is celebrated in many parts of the world. The true meaning of Christmas is universal, the birth of Jesus Christ. But not every place has the same image, or even the same name, for a Santa Claus. Nor does Santa always act in the same manner. Using a “Santa” from the region of one’s ancestors can be significant, and this can keep the family history fresh for new generations.

Of course. many people, such as Europeans, would still be using the same “Santa” figure generation after generation. In the United States there is often a pride in ancestral countries, and their cultures. There is room for our Santa Claus to have European counterparts, which can be explained to children as his helpers.

Santa by Another Name

It is not practical to give all of the names associated with Santa figures, but some names used in Europe are given here.  I am aware that there are other places outside Europe, but I need to have a concentration here or this article would get much too long.  The British have Father Christmas.  Pere Noel is the name used in France and in Belgium, in Italy one would call the figure Babbo Natale.  Several nations use a name in their native language for Saint Nicholas, such as Mikulas in Hungary and Swiety Mikolaj in Poland.  Weihnachtsmann, which translates Christmas Man, is the German name, although Kris Kringle has also been used since the time of Martin Luther so a Protestant based character could be used. 


The above list is not complete. 


In addition, the figure of “Santa” acts differently in different countries.  In the United States he brings gifts when Christmas Eve ends at midnight.  In locations where gifts are brought by the local version of “Santa” the day of the gifts arriving may be different than the day in the United States.


Santa Looks Different

Santa, or the corresponding figure, wears a red suit with a wide black belt.  There is also a red cap.  The suit and cap are trimmed with white.  And Santa has a full beard, which is white along with his hair indicating a rather old man. 


In some cultures, there is a similarity in appearance, but in other countries the figure looks is completely different. 


Santa Claus carries a sack filled with gifts.  But in other cultures he carries different items, sometimes including a Christmas tree.


So, a Santa Claus figure form one’s ancestral region might look quite different from what is his common appearance in the United States.


In some cases artists take artistic license to add scenes of a country to Santa's outfit.

International Locations

Most countries have something, often several things, that are known to symbolize that country or a part of that country.  This could be a famous landmark, such as the Eiffel Tower.  It could also be something symbolic of the country, such as a gondola signifies Venice, Italy, a red phone booth or a Beefeater would symbolize Britain, a Swiss Guardsman would symbolize the Vatican City, or even a pretzel might symbolize Germany.  Famous buildings, such as well-known castles, also stand for the local in which they stand.  Here I might not want a coliseum ornament, because it represents brutal activities that occurred within.


For many large, European cities, a single Christmas orniment can be found showing several significant images of the buildings and culture of the city. 


Fortunately, Christmas ornaments can be found for many of these expressions of national cultures or national landmarks.  The good news is that Europe abounds with deep cultures and interesting, old landmarks.


The above is just a sample of what one might search for.  Searching by country is apt to reveal a treasure-trove of wonderful Christmas ornaments.


Type of Christmas Ornaments

In keeping with the culture of craftsmanship of European artisans when art was more significant than it is in today’s hurried and harried world, selecting glass Christmas ornaments seems more desirable, when possible.  This works for ornaments that are to be hung in a Christmas tree.  For “Santa” figures that are designed to stand on a flat surface, glass is not desirable, since they can easily break if they are toppled.

Culture Specific Christmas Articles

For more on specific cultures consider the following articles.

Christmas Traditions by Country

See More Christmas Ornaments in These Articles
Like other European countries, there are ways in which Christmas is celebrated in Italy. And Italy has many picturesque structures that have inspired beautiful Christmas ornaments.
The French Christmas celebration is different, and includes perhaps the most lavish meal compared with Christmas meals elsewhere. Another difference includes using santons.
Christmas is celebrated in many countries, each with its own cultural influence. Christmas in England is fascinating, since many American traditions have similarities to them.
Germany and Austria have very rich Christmas traditions. Germany has given the world the Christmas tree, and many Christmas carols, while Austria has given us Silent Night.

Stille Nacht Christmas Ornament


Santons are pieces that are added to a Nativity set to make it more current and specific to a family.  Adding santons is not universally done, but quite regional.  For more on santons please refer to the following article.

Santon Article

With Nativity Santons Shown
Nativity sets are popular during the Christmas season, but adding santons is unique to just a few places. It is a practice well worth considering.

This article contains links to affiliate programs and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


The introduction image is one of our Zazzle products.

Updated: 12/03/2019, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 08/26/2019

Yes. I had a limit based on the number of words of what Wizzley would allow. For that reason I had to shorten the list from what I could have shown. I know there is one for Rome and one for Paris. I believe Venice also has one. I needed one product for the Zazzle item since I used it as the intro image. Part of the fun of writing such an article is to see all of the ornaments, and spend time making a selection. I left Rome out because I did not think the Coliseum was a good choice, but opted for Saint Perers instead.

DerdriuMarriner on 08/26/2019

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for the practical information and product lines.
In particular, I appreciate the Barcelona and Firenze ornaments because of religious and spiritual associations respectively with la Sagrada Família and il Duomo.
Is there a similar attempt for ornaments for the states?

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