Christmas ornaments, baubles, 'christmas bulbs' or 'Christmas bubbles' are decoration items, usually to decorate Christmas trees. These decorations may be weaved, blown (glass or plastic), molded (ceramic or metal), carved from wood or expanded polystyrene, or made by other techniques. Ornaments are available in a variety of geometric shapes and image depictions. Ornaments are almost always reused year after year rather than purchased annually, and family collections often contain a combination of commercially produced ornaments and decorations created by family members. Such collections are often passed on and augmented from generation to generation. Festive figures and images are commonly chosen. Lucretia P. Hale's story 'The Peterkins' Christmas-Tree' offers a short catalog of the sorts of ornaments used in the 1870s:There was every kind of gilt hanging-thing, from gilt pea-pods to butterflies on springs. There were shining flags and lanterns, and bird-cages, and nests with birds sitting on them, baskets of fruit, gilt apples, and bunches of grapes. The modern-day mold-blown colored glass Christmas ornament was invented in the small German town of Lauscha in the mid-16th century. = Invention =The first decorated trees were adorned with apples, white candy canes and pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts and flowers.