The tradition of decorating Christmas trees started in Eastern France in the 16th century (then part of Germany).

Trees were then ornated with flowers and fruits (notably apples). A drought in 1858 destroyed the apple harvest, prompting a glass blower from Goetzenbruck, a Lorraine village on the Moselle, to create apple-shaped glass baubles.

The practice spread quickly around Europe, and by the late 1800′s the local glass factory at Goetzenbruck was manufacturing tens of thousands of baubles.