Glass: it sparkles, shimmers, reflects and gleams. The variety of colors, sizes and uses makes it perfect for decorating, entertaining or gift giving.
There is nothing like a touch of glass to add to your holiday festivities.
With West Virginia’s history as a glass-making state, using and giving glass during Christmas and the holiday season adds a little local flavor as well.
Makers from throughout West Virginia produced some of the most iconic pieces of glass produced in the 20th century, and these pieces are just as stylish and timely today as they were when they were made.
And while we are typically partial to the vintage glass, a few of our glass producers — like Blenko Glass in Milton — are still around and creating new and wonderful pieces.
For generations glass has played an important role in holiday decor. Everything from the delicate ornaments on the tree and pieces used in decorative displays to the vessels we enjoy our favorite holiday beverages from are made of glass. These pieces can be elegant or playful and often are passed down through families.
Being in the business of dealing in mid-20th century items for the home, we get daily requests from Thanksgiving through Christmas for specific items like families used in the past.
The memories we form around the holiday season tend to be strong and long-lasting. The glass of our childhoods often becomes very nostalgic, and the glass pieces we use today will be part of memories carried forward by our family and friends into the future.
Gatherings during the holidays are more festive when food and refreshments are served in glassware designed, created and decorated for the holidays.
Drinks served in classic Christmas-themed glasses and stemware seem special. A glimmering punchbowl becomes a centerpiece and a center of activity and frivolity at a party.
Some glass sets are for specific holiday uses. A classic “Tom and Jerry” set can be found this time of year in virtually any vintage or antique shop.
Served warm and similar to eggnog, although creamier and with more froth, the “Tom and Jerry” dates from the early 19th century and is served in mugs from a large bowl with each piece decorated with the name of the drink.
With a touch of brandy, these beverages warm the body as the decorative glass used to serve it warms the heart.
Gifts of glass are appreciated and cherished. There are glass items to fit any decor and budget. Art glass pieces are the perfect gift for those hard-to-shop-for folks on your list or the person who has everything.
A nice glass tumbler or stemware set can be of use throughout the year. A brightly colored glass dish of cookies or vase of flowers offers holiday cheer and an item that will be kept and serve as a reminder of your goodwill.
Good manners still dictates you present the host or hostess of a holiday party you are attending with a small gift. Glass pieces often fit the bill perfectly, and having a few extra pieces on hand for that unexpected gift need is always a good idea. Small glass bowls, candy dishes and even figurines are plentiful, affordable and will put a smile on even the Grinchiest of faces.
This time of year is often referred to as the season of light, and glass likes nothing better than light, as it reflects, spreads and accentuates.
Light and glass were made for each other. The addition of more glass to your holiday celebrations will make your Christmas brighter, be it from the light of candles, light from the tree or the light of someone’s smile.
Chuck and Connie Hamsher are collectors of 20th-century design and art and owners of The Purple Moon in downtown Charleston, which specializes in mid-century, industrial and contemporary home furnishings,
art and accessories.
Follow The Purple Moon on Facebook or visit them on the web at www.thepurplemoon.com.
Chuck and Connie can be contacted at 304-345-0123.