We asked our readers to share some of their favorite Christmas decorations. Here are some of our favorite favorites and why they love them.
Brenda Bush: Salt Dough Santa
In 1973, the real "favorite things" began when our then 3-year-old daughter and my husband made a salt dough Santa ornament. This Santa, measuring approximately 6 X 6 inches, is now 41-years-old and always holds a prime spot on our tree. Our twin sons were born three years later and before long, their "things" began to join those of their sister. The tradition now has extended to the next generation.
Sandra Miller: Christmas Cabin
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When I was growing up in Akron, Ohio in the 40s and 50s our family always set up a charming vintage-feel Christmas village in the window seat in our dining room. I loved every item in the village, but especially the log cabin — tiny incense-infused logs could be burned in its chimney, giving off a pine aroma that wafted through our house and put me in the Christmas spirit. The cabin is now mine and during the holiday season it's part of a forest scene under my table-top Christmas tree.
Barbara Langely: Old Santa
"Old Santa" was purchased by my husband's grandmother in 1905 from J.L. Hudson's Department Store in downtown Detroit, for the whopping price of 5 cents. The price tag is still on the bottom of the ornament. My husband inherited this family heirloom, and Santa is always the first ornament hung on our tree each year, and the last to come down.
Kay Collier McLaughlin: Violin Angels
When my daughters were 4 and 6 years old we had the opportunity to begin violin study with the great teacher Shinichi Suzuki. A big part of every Christmas involved them playing their violins for their great-grandparents, for Christmas in the Park, at church, in recitals and concerts. Every Christmas I love hanging the hand painted glass ball that depicts two little angels playing their violins.
Judith Puckett: German Angels
I have many favorites, but one ornament stands out above the rest. My mother gave me at least one Christmas ornament every year from the time I was a little girl until she was no longer able to due to Alzheimer's. Each year, when I'm decorating the tree and I see the ones she gave me, it's a special way of remembering her. In 1984, my mother and dad attended the 350th anniversary of the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany. It was one of their favorite trips and they were so impressed with the village and the fact that the play had been performed since 1634. They brought back an ornament that is two angels made of feathers and suspended from a lightweight stick. I have never seen another one similar. The whole ornament is very light, and seems to float in the air.
Cinder Connery: Christmas Stockings
I was the youngest of four, born a week before Christmas, so my mother made us all a stocking with our name on it that was given to us the day she brought us home from the hospital. For 61 years now we have hung the same stockings and I took great joy in making my daughter one when she was born 27 years ago. The stockings have held everything from coal to diamonds, but we know there will always be a bag of M&M's in there, a sweet treat.
Debbie McClure: Antique Santas
Though I could send you a picture of each ornament and tell you that they were my favorite, I think I have to pick these two antique Santas. The red one, my Mom gave me the year I got married because we had no decorations. She got it from the bank here in Lexington when banks used to give customers Christmas presents, back in the '60s. I still have the original box that says "ceramic santa saver" and it jingles with a penny my son put in there when he was little (he is now 31). Later I found the matching white Santa planter, and I love displaying them together.
Linda Rice: Darth Vader
Rice had collected ornaments to give her children when they were grown. Everything all went well until about two years ago. When her son got married he wanted to take his Darth Vader ornament. His sister, not a Star Wars fan, was upset.
"I had no idea this ornament had produced memories for my daughter too, because every time we turned on the lights of our tree Darth Vader could be heard saying 'The Force is with you young Skywalker — you are not a Jedi yet!' We heard this every Christmas for the past 20 years and it never occurred to me that we would miss him ... So I went online and actually found another Hallmark Darth Vader that now to this day speaks out every time I turn on my tree lights. My daughter and I are both relieved to have him back."