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Couple brings tradition of snow globes to life on small screen

RANCHO SANTA FE — Many of us have warm childhood memories of shaking snow globes. Usually the family snow globes came out only at Christmas time and were prized possessions or perhaps a treasured gift from a favorite uncle or grandma. There is something soothing and mesmerizing about the shape of the globe and the way the snow falls so slowly … time and time again.
Ron Ranson and his wife, Nicola, decided to recreate that calm feeling by putting snow globes on a DVD. They researched snow globes around the world to find the ones from their memories.
“Much to our horror, they didn’t seem to exist anymore,” Ron Ranson said. “The current snow globe models made in China have some very interesting designs, but the snow lasts only about six seconds. That’s not what we remembered!”
Finally, their research brought them to Austria and a business called “Original Vienna Snow Globe.” The company president, Erwin Perzy III, told them his grandfather invented the snow globe back in 1900. The snow affect in the “Original Vienna” snow globes is created according to a secret family recipe using pure glacier water from the Austrian alps, and, according to Ron, the resulting snow lasts up to three minutes.
If you know the classic American film “Citizen Kane,” you will have seen one of the “Original Austrian” snow globes in the opening scene as Orson Wells drops his cherished childhood snow globe containing a miniature of his home in Colorado — while whispering those famous words, “Rosebud.”
“Nicola and I traveled to Vienna in March of 2007 to collect 30 snow globes that became the stars of our comfort DVD that brings back the soothing feeling of yesterday,” Ron Ranson said. “This 40-minute DVD is set on a continuous loop and turns any TV into a giant musical snow globe.”
Christmas music is edited to fit the mood of the swirling snow that has been lit like a tiny Christmas theater, courtesy of Ron’s professional background in theatre and stage lighting. The DVD was produced in Leucadia, with location shooting in Utah, Nevada and Vienna. The “behind the scenes” segment features an interview with Erwin Perzy III, the grandson of the snow globe’s inventor.
The “Snow Globe Christmas” DVD can be purchased for $19.95 at

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