No matter where you spend Christmas this year, the chances are your tree decorations are Polish
Poland is one of the world’s biggest exporters of Christmas decorations, with prestigious customers including the UK’s prestigious Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, Le Bon Marché in Paris and Bloomingdales in the USA.
Data from the Polish Economic Institute (PIE) shows that in 2019, the value of Polish exports of Christmas goods reached EUR 80.4 million, two and a half times more than in 2015.
PIE said: "This put Poland in third place in the world. Only China exported more (the world leader in sales with a market share of over 80 percent) and Germany."
The report also shows that last year, Polish Christmas baubles were delivered to 71 countries on all continents, with almost half of them going to Germany, and 18 percent to the United States.
The decorations, which are hand blown from glass and then hand-painted, are produced by several traditional manufacturers and sold in the world’s most exclusive department stores.
This year’s Harrods collection includes a set of shaped baubles in the form of iconic London landmarks from UK-based Polish-British company ‘bombki’.
The designs are carefully crafted by artisans in Poland, and this year the company found itself on Vogue’s 2020 ‘Most Eye-Catching Christmas Baubles To Hang This Season’ for a set of baubles representing portraits of Henry VIII and his six wives.
Jakub Grubiński, president of GabiGlass in Gniezno, who have been making baubles for export for 8 years, said: “The English love shaped baubles. It is for them that we create baubles in different forms like cars, Santa clauses and Christmas trees.”
Americans also favour shaped baubles. Maciej Mostowski, the third generation of a family factory which first started producing baubles in 1945 and have produced baubles for the Kremlin Museum, American sports teams, Spanish royals and the White House said: “American’s are more colourful and can easily have something like Santa Claus on a surfing board.”
A more unusual American tradition are baubles in the shape of cucumbers, with Polish company Vitbis sending one hundred cucumber shaped baubles to America each year.
President of Vitbis Janusz Prus said: “Americans believe in their amazing power. When hung on a tree they are meant to guarantee material success, luck and wealth.”
Although China is the world’s market leader in the quantity of baubles produced today, these are produced on a mass scale and usually from plastic.
Poland, however, has made a name for itself for the quality and craft of its glass baubles and has an established presence in the world’s production of glass ornaments which has been going for decades.
Another Polish manufacturer, ‘Bombkarnia’ in Warsaw, has made baubles as diplomatic presents for Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and Patriach of Moscow Cyril I and the European Parliament’s Christmas tree at the end of Poland’s Presidency of the EU in 2011.
GabiGlass president Jakub Grubiński said: “Poles are well known in Great Britain as producers of baubles.
“Polish Christmas tree decorations are very sought after over there. When they receive the news that the products are from Poland, the interest is immediately enormous.”