Despite my secular nature and upbringing, I unabashedly love Christmas. I always get a tree and decorate it with my small collection of ornaments I have amassed over the years. I favor primitive ornaments made of natural materials, usually in the form of a woodland creature or evergreen tree. For me, the tree itself is the center of focus for decorations, in the style of the pagans and early Christians.
Traditionally, trees were decorated with fruit, nuts, and other foods. As we know them today, Christmas tree ornaments take many forms, including glass balls, blown-glass figurines, and tin figures. Hallmark and others make a great many of their ornaments out of resin or even clay, which have a certain charm to them. Many folks like very bright, bold decorations on their tree, including those that reference pop culture icons.
For me, though, nothing can beat a rustic wooden ornament. I like their simplicity and texture. They are often (though not always) handmade, which makes them seem a bit special in comparison to a lot of ornaments you can buy these days. Wooden ornaments recall the warm nostalgia of a cabin Christmas, of celebrations tucked in the woods.
While you pick out your ornaments, have a peek at our list of the best tree toppers to choose the piece that will literally top it all off.
If you’re looking for a touch of rustic charm for your tree this year, consider our list of the top ten best wooden Christmas ornaments.
1. Mountain Mahogany Nativity Ornament
Naturally, the birth of Jesus is the heart of the Christmas celebration for many families, and the installation of a nativity scene is a common expression of this during the season. This lovely ornament is carved from mountain mahogany, a tree native to the western United States. This lovely wood creates a darling frame for the nativity scene, which will make a fine addition to any Christmas tree. It’s made in the U.S.A. and comes complete with a string hanger. If you want to include a nativity scene in your decorations this year but are short on space, consider this ornament for your tree.
Need more options? Browse more Shaker Workshops ornaments here.
2. Ponerine Christmas Tree Ornaments Set
When I was a kid, we had several round, wooden ornaments that depicted wildlife of some kind. Usually it was a mouse, and usually there was also a pine tree. For me, this set recalls the ornaments of my youth. For all around the same price, you can choose between the set featured here, with a deer, bird, and “Merry Christmas” ornament carved in a dual-layer style that gives some depth, or one of the other four options. The Letters Style is also a lovely choice for those looking to invoke those words at Christmastime. These ornaments measure 3.27 inches in diameter, making them a perfect choice for trees of just about any size. Ropes for hanging them are included.
Need more options? Browse more wooden Christmas ornaments here.
Price: $12.49 (30 percent off MSRP)
3. Kurt Adler Wooden Nutcracker Ornament 4-Piece Box Set
Nutcrackers originated sometime in the 15th century as good luck symbols in Germany, based on a folk tale. Following the first U.S. production of The Nutcracker ballet in 1940, they caught on as decorations here, as well. Often depicting a soldier, king, or knight, these figurines are nearly as ubiquitous as Santa Claus. This set features four five-inch figures made from wood in festive colors. Each of the jackets are glittered for extra flair. A gold hanging ribbon is included for each of them. For less than $1 more, you could also try this set of six.
Need more options? Browse more Kurt Adler products here.
4. Rustic Driftwood Angel Christmas Ornament
Everyone is familiar with the hymn “Angels We Have Heard on High”. It’s a Christmas playlist staple. So is angelic imagery at Christmas. This angel ornament is made from driftwood for a rustic take on a wooden ornament. It’s a simple, lovely piece that will work on a great number of Christmas trees. A twine hanger is included.
Need more options? Browse more Rustic Pearl Collection ornaments here.
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5. Cardinal Clip Christmas Ornament
As one of the few birds that don’t migrate during the winter, the striking red cardinal has become a fixture of Christmas decorations. Cardinals keep their red color even in the winter months, and their distribution in snowy areas of North America has made them famous for their contrast against white backgrounds. Though they don’t have a historic religious meaning, some think that the color is meant to recall the blood of Christ. Others say that hanging a cardinal on your Christmas tree is just good luck. Whatever the case, cardinals do, indeed, make handsome tree decorations. This set of two cardinals clips onto the boughs of your tree, giving the appearance that they have landed there to perch. These wooden birds are a little over four inches long and are hand decorated. Other birds are available, as well, including chickadees and blue jays.
Need more options? Browse more C&F ornaments here.
6. Wood Carved & Painted Candy Canes
While we always bought at least one box of real candy canes to hang on the tree each year, we also had one or two ornaments made to look like them on the tree, too. This set of six wooden candy canes features three four-inch canes and three five-inch canes for hanging all around your tree. If you have room for multiple trees in your home, you could buy a few of these sets and have a themed tree based on these rustic ornaments. They’re subtle and festive and will look great in any home.
Need more options? Browse more wooden Christmas ornaments here.
Price: $7.38 (47 percent off MSRP)
7. Dandy Design Golden Retriever Vintage Red Truck Christmas Ornament
Dog Christmas ornaments are a genre unto themselves. Even though I never had a dog growing up, we had one or two ornaments featuring a dog doing something Christmas-related. This charming wooden ornament has that vintage Christmas nostalgia vibe, with a golden retriever bringing home the tree. There are a number of these available with different breeds, including a Burmese mountain dog in a canoe and this black lab in a woodie wagon. Choose one to match your mutt or buy a few to create a collection. Red hanging ribbon included.
Need more options? Browse more Dandy Designs ornaments here.
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8. Weathered Beach Dove, Tree and Star Holiday Ornament Set
I’m from coastal New England and I can tell you that a beach Christmas is almost as alluring as a cozy cabin Christmas. This set of six ornaments is made to look like the side of a weathered beach cottage, with its stripping white paint on aged wood. I know it would fit in with my mother’s collection of lighthouse decor, so if you have a similar affinity for beach chic, these are the ornaments for you. You’ll get two doves, two stars, and two trees in this set, each with a tinsel hanger to complete the festive vibe.
Need more options? Browse more Primatives by Kathy decorations here.
9. Lovebirds Personalized Wood Christmas Ornament
Whether it’s your first Christmas or your tenth, this custom wood Christmas ornament makes a great choice. Laser engraved with any names and date you choose, this darling lovebirds ornament is made in the U.S.A out of alder wood specially for you. It also comes in an owl version, if you prefer. Includes a red ribbon for hanging on the tree.
Need more options? Browse more Custom-Ornaments-by-Stocking-Factory ornaments here.
10. Set of 6 Rustic Barn Wood Primitive Snowman Christmas Ornaments
Snowmen are another festive symbol of the season. This particular snowman ornament is made from aged barn wood, painted in a country primitive style, and finished with a rusty tin bow. This is a set of six identical three-and-a-half-inch ornaments, so you could put a couple on your tree and give some as gifts. You could also incorporate them into wreaths or other decorations around your home. This charming ornament comes complete with a jute rope hanger, so he’s ready to adorn your tree or mantel.
Need more options? Browse more Rustic Accents ornaments here.