Sometimes we stumble across the most interesting information even we didn’t know, about the history of Surprise Balls! Judy tells us that Charles Gregor brought back the idea from his homeland Germany where mothers taught their daughters how to knit by hiding toys and trinkets in the ball of yarn. As the child knit, she came across little toys and continued knitting. He transferred the idea to Surprise balls made with crepe paper ribbon in the 1950s.
Paris Market Blogspot writes:
“The earliest evidence of Surprise Balls was found in Native American culture. Traditionally, it was a common practice to tell the history of one's life with a unique ball of twigs, grass, string, etc. The first layer represented birth & then for significant events in life, another layer & memento were added. Surprise Balls in Native American culture represented a person's entire life.
Surprise Balls became vogue in America in the 1950s when a gent named Charles Gregor in New Orleans created, "The Surprise Ball: The Toy You Destroy to Enjoy." The Surprize Ball soon made its appearance in FAO Schwarz, Mayo Clinic, The Children's Hospital in Minnesota, Ben Franklin Crafts, & The Nut Tree near San Francisco.
Eventually, the trend stopped as trends tend to do. But then in the 1980s, Judy Walker remembered Surprise Balls from her childhood. She began to collect original trinkets & surprises, like Fortune Fish & vintage toys, then wrapped them into colorful crepe paper to create the Surprize Ball, which is now loved by people of all ages & for every sort of occasion.”
We are thrilled to be credited with reviving such a special tradition.
May your holidays be fun, festive and full of surprise!