12 Dec2007

Snow Globes…

by Marketman


I have been enamored and fascinated by snow globes since I was a child. I cannot resist repetitively turning them over and watching the “snowflakes” drift down to the bottom of the globe, shimmering along the way. And I am glad to see that The Kid seems to have inherited the same fascination for this self-contained, winter (or at least mostly winter, they are snowed in after all) scene and we have either acquired or been given several snow globes over the years. They apparently go back a couple of hundred years and were quite the collectible then, but modern manufacturing and cheaper glass has made these very affordable and accessible to nearly everyone. Our snow globes emerge during the holidays and are grouped on a table for all to turn over and gaze at as the contents settle. I find that kids love them, but not so oddly, I have spied many a stodgy adult turn them over as well. It seems so futile and the joy so fleeting, but then, you can just turn the globes over again and again until you tire of them… When The Kid was smaller, we actually broke a snow globe accidentally, and I can tell you, they really are made of glass, they are filled with water and the glitter is a pain in the neck to clean up… The figurine or item inside is usually smaller than you think (the globe magnifies it) and today, is often hand-painted, probably mostly by mainland Chinese workers who are probably asking themselves why Westerners are so intrigued by a strange little figure drowning in water and gunk… Many years ago, I was told the water was mixed with some chemical, brake fluid or anti-freeze, in order to slow the descent of the snowflakes… a quick google does suggest this was in fact done, but today most of the pieces just have water… Here is a selection of snow globes out on the table this year… Up top, a horse decked in holiday greens galloping through the snow…


Frosty, the snowman, with black top hat, along with more translucent “snow.”


Teddy and gifts…


And a Christmas tree within an unusually shaped Christmas tree glass enclosure. This one has a wind up song mechanism as well…



  1. sonia says:

    thanks for sharing yet another excitement in your life, MM. i used to see them but took them for granted, but now realize, thanks to you that they are beautiful collectibles

    Dec 12, 2007 | 7:10 am


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  3. Maria Clara says:

    Snow globes have their own followers. I know a lot of people who collect them and adding more pieces to their collection and bring them out from storage during the Holiday Season at their house or workplace. I for one as a kid was fascinated how snow flakes come down slowly and figurines stay stationary. Of course ours then was out throughout the year on top of our big Zenith cabinet television before the advent compact colored televisions.

    Dec 12, 2007 | 7:12 am

  4. nikka says:

    We gave my mom 4 beautiful Christmas snowglobes a few years back. They are each about as large as a cantaloupe and have wind-up music boxes that play carols. I agree, they are fascinating and have the right amount of magic in them to turn old grumps in to children… for just a quick moment.

    Dec 12, 2007 | 7:51 am

  5. Michael says:

    Waiting for all the particles to collect on one end before turning them upright somehow seems to take much longer than the actual snowfall itself. If only they had some kind of mechanical agitator inside so that the flakes are in constant motion.

    Dec 12, 2007 | 8:45 am

  6. Trish says:

    Are you having a Market Manila Christmas eb? :)

    Dec 12, 2007 | 9:28 am

  7. Marketman says:

    Trish, nope, no EB’s this year or near future. :) Michael, turning the globe over is part of the attraction. But I can see how a mechanized version or lamp/heat action might be neat. Nikka, yes, these do bring out the child in some. MC, if your family still has that old globe, it could well be a collectors item by now! Sonia, there is a lot of kitsch out there, but there, but also great finds…

    Dec 12, 2007 | 9:46 am

  8. Anne says:

    I collect snow globes all year round. Some people collect magnets or spoons or shot glasses on their travel, I collect snow globes. Its a very frustrating hobby since not all the places I’ve been to have snow globes (that is when I resort to magnets)and a lot of the snow globes I see around are built nicely. You guys might know some places where I can get nice snow globes, let me know :)

    Dec 12, 2007 | 9:47 am

  9. Trish says:

    Just like Sonia, i never gave them much interest before but, now, am starting to be a bit more curious about it. Thanks for putting more “culture” into my life, MM! Hahahaha!!

    Can’t wait to see your Gingerbread Village by the way, as you’ve mentioned in your earlier post. Hope you can share it with us soon. I’m sure its something grand. :)

    Dec 12, 2007 | 9:50 am

  10. Susan says:

    Hi MM. I was so thrilled to see this post of yours about Snowglobes. I started my collection of holiday snowglobes years ago. I now try to get any kind of snowglobe in any place I visit to add to my collection. Just like you I used to just put them out during the holidays. I was sad when my very first snowglobe was broken by a little boy who visited us. Now I have a permanent cabinet to store my collection.

    I love your christmas shaped snowglobe. It’s so unique!

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I was so excited to open this post. I just love snowglobes. Is there any place here in Manila that sells snow globes?

    Happy holidays to you and your family. God bless.

    Dec 12, 2007 | 10:41 am

  11. dhayL says:

    Oh snowglobes are pretty to look at, and i like the ones that wind up as well! My daughter is starting her own collection of snowglobes as well, I guess in a few years from now, I’ll have a glass cabinet filled with her collections! :)

    Dec 12, 2007 | 11:18 am

  12. maddie says:

    awww i love snowglobes. i like the teddy one here! =D

    Dec 12, 2007 | 11:56 am

  13. Em Dy says:

    I thought about collecting snowglobes when a friend gave me one as a gift. There used to be a store in Shangrila which sells all sorts, the Disney collection is one I remember best. The problem however is maintenance. The fluid eventually evaporates and has to be replaced.

    Dec 12, 2007 | 1:59 pm

  14. ester says:

    Anne you can buy snowglobes on sale from Gourdo’s (P900+) located at the mall at the back of McDonald’s Alabang Ayala Center. Just not sure if they still have stocks…maybe you can call first before going there.

    MM i like your collections…thanks for sharing with us…

    Dec 12, 2007 | 3:46 pm

  15. Blaise says:

    At some point, I did collect snow globes, I think I still have some of them somewhere in my closet.. Reading your post, it did remind me of how fascinating snow globes are, they’re sort of therapeutic, just like watching fish in the aquarium..

    Dec 12, 2007 | 4:22 pm

  16. Trish says:

    Em Dy, so how do I replace the fluid? :) I’ve noticed that problem too, it kinda made me stop collecting them because of it

    Thanks much!

    Dec 12, 2007 | 6:16 pm

  17. nina says:

    I’m thinking of buying some since the online disney store is giving 50% off but decided not to due to logistics. Maybe next time.

    Dec 12, 2007 | 10:36 pm

  18. Em Dy says:

    Trish, I don’t remember anymore but it’s on the net. Just Google. I remember thinking it’ difficult to do.

    Dec 12, 2007 | 10:43 pm

  19. alicia says:

    My daughter too has started a snow globe collection. My favorite are the Christmas ones that wind up with music. I agree, very therapeutic and they really do seem to help transform the house into holiday mode.

    Dec 13, 2007 | 10:15 pm

  20. Sarah Mezger says:

    HI MM,
    Your snowglobes look adorable!
    I am a collector myself, though i haven’t added anything new to it since i came home a few years back. My collections are of places I’ve visited so far. It shares space with my hardbound book collection. It can’t be displayed all at once so i alternate displaying them. I’m sad to say that I have to place it high on the shelf to keep my 2yo from grabbing it. Its nice to walk down memory lane every time i look at them. Nice to know that other people appreciate them too and not find them tacky… by the way, just a little tip, keep them away from sunny windows. they will cloud and get moldy after sometime…

    Dec 16, 2007 | 7:18 am

  21. Marketman says:

    Sarah, we actually put the globes away after the holidays and re-open them the following year…that way, we enjoy them for only a month or so every year, and look forward to them annually…

    Dec 16, 2007 | 8:38 am

  22. Toni says:

    Oh! Perfect! I have just the thing for you:


    Happy Holidays, MM! :)

    Dec 17, 2007 | 11:34 pm

  23. sunny says:

    i love snowglobes too! i wanted to have one from the philippines but the one my dad got me had sand in it instead of water. the funny thing is i have this “snowglobe appreciation time” when i stand in front of my snowglobe cabinet and wind up all the musical ones all at the same time..music to my ears! here’s the link to my site, check it out if you have time. have a good day! http://sunnygirl949.googlepages.com

    Jan 30, 2008 | 10:28 am

  24. James Whittington says:

    I can relate to Michael’s comment about having a globe that snows without needing to be shaken. I know a wonderful lady who has invented a snow globe that does not need to be shaken.
    I have seen the prototype and the globes are going to be very beautiful and of exceptional quality. Not only has she created a new snow globe technology, the theme for the first line of globes will be to honor women of character she calls The Iron Butterflies. She is hoping to have the first globe ready this summer.
    You can check out her website at:

    Feb 3, 2008 | 9:18 am

  25. Gina Gould says:

    I really need help …
    my grandaughter accidently broke her musical filled with water globe of pirates of the carabian….characters that move
    and I am wondering how can i get this repaired for her/? It was my idea when she was born, that she start a collection of wind up muscial items…she has about 10 now at 4 yrs old, but I am very fustrated with this? can anyone help me?
    thank you so much

    Sep 18, 2008 | 2:44 pm

  26. Karla says:

    I am also collecting snowglobes. I now have five of them. I didn’t notice the the water level inside it is changing. Just be sure not to place it near windows, where they are exposed to sunlight.

    Oct 19, 2008 | 6:17 pm

  27. marissa says:

    hi! i want to start collecting snowglobes. It is beautiful to see when their are together. :-)

    Dec 22, 2008 | 4:50 pm

  28. micholl says:


    Im Micholl of GMA Network Inc. (Mel and Joey) program researcher.

    Our show having a regular segment about different huge collection. In line with this i just want to ask the name of the collector and his/her number so i can communicate with him and also if we can feature your snow globes collection in our show in Mel and Joey.

    I hope for favorable response.

    Hirs my number 0929.68.26.597.

    thank you so much and God bless.



    Jan 26, 2009 | 8:02 pm

  29. raine says:

    can someone please tell me where to buy a snowglobe? i’ve been to sm san lazaro and megamall and failed to have one. i just need it badly. i wanted a full information where exactly i could buy. i have a busy sched and could no longer go to malls just to look around..thanks a lot!

    Apr 2, 2009 | 3:19 pm

  30. nell says:

    im collecting snow globes from every places i visit. can anyone give me infos where to buy in manila?
    i like musical snow globes..
    To those of you who are collecting..i suggest:
    1. New York-with lady liberty, brooklyn bridge and some old building structures- music? New York New York
    2. Walt Disney World-Castle song: a dream is a wish your heart makes
    3. Seattle-Space Needle-very romantic- song: i dont know the title but i guess its one of the song in the movie by tom hanks and meg ryan..
    im looking for Philippine version-song: bahay kubo..
    please post some infos..thanks!!!

    Jul 28, 2009 | 8:58 am

  31. jaydee says:

    i’m looking for a snow globe for my friend’s birthday.. she loves snow globes.. can you tell me where i can buy some cute snow globes.. is there any shop that sells only snow globes? or any shop that makes custom made snow globes?


    Aug 26, 2009 | 10:41 pm

  32. GARD says:

    To all snowglobes collectors here in Manila, please visit our store

    My Breathing Space Gift Options
    Unit 56 Cubao Expo
    Gen. Romulo Ave.
    Araneta center, Cubao, QC

    Tel: 4397414 or 9128519
    email: my_breathing_space@yahoo.com

    Operating Hours: 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm evryday

    We offer: collector snowglobes from disney,San Francisco Music Box, Twinkle, etc.
    MBS is the place for collectibles, novelty items and gifts that are not so common.

    Oct 28, 2009 | 9:39 am

  33. charlotte says:

    urgently needed!
    i need to buy eight 6″ snow globe as trophy/award for christmas party winter theme & thrity-nine 4″ snow globes at a friendly price of less than PhP 100 & PhP 50.00 respectively? preferred design at the center would be snowman &/or a christmas tree. let me know asap, as we’ll still print & stick awards category at the bottom as label before december 9, 2009.
    thank you in advance!

    Dec 3, 2009 | 4:05 pm


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