I've heard this great question several times over the years. The answer is simple. They're more valuable.
Okay, that might be a bold statement. But think about family heirlooms. Would that platter from your grandmother be as cherished if it were plastic? Sure, you'd love it because it was hers. But I would think you would be far less concerned about it if it couldn't break.
I like to think of my ornaments as modern heirlooms - holiday treasures to give and to save.
Cherished items that your kids or grandkids will want to have on their tree someday.
I just don't think that a plastic ornament could hold that same value.
But I admit, we should address the elephant in the room. Painting on glass ball ornaments has its challenges. They're slippery and fragile, and that makes painting on them stressful.
If you have kids or grandkids, you've likely attempted to make a keepsake ornament... probably from an idea you saw on Pinterest. If you have, then you know exactly what I mean!
Have I broken them? Yes. I can confirm that they will break if you drop them... and for me it usually happens right as I'm adding the last finishing touches. But I've also gotten used to handling them so it's not as common as you might think.
What are my suggestions for you handling them?
If you buy one of my glass ornaments, it will arrive in a rigid gift box tied with a bow. My suggestion is to keep using that box for storage after the holidays. It's sturdy and reliable, and it will keep that ornament safe for years to come.
Leaving an ornament hook attached will also help as you take it in and out of the box each year.
If you have children or animals, hang it up higher on your tree for safety and peace of mind.
You can also wire it directly to your tree for extra security. Use floral wire from the craft or garden store to wrap the ornament right onto the branch.
Or do what my mom does - hang it up on an ornament stand (or chandelier, or wall sconce, or even in a wine glass on the mantel)... and leave it there. All year. Don't even touch it. Just look at it. Forever. That's an option too.