Throughout the month of December, The Tribune-Democrat ran photos and stories of favorite decorations as submitted by our readers.
Some decorations were featured on our front page. Click here to see the pics we didn't publish.
These ornaments and stories came from Meribeth DeBarto's 6th-grade language arts classes at Conemaugh Township Middle School. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
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"My ornament is a Jesus ornament," wrote Katie College. "One day, my grandma came home with a big blue surprise in her hand. She gave it to me; it was an ornament of baby Jesus. It is hand-painted on the spot! When I hang it on the tree, the transparent paint makes the light shine through. Sometimes when I sit down on the couch, I spin the ornament around to see it spin really fast. When we take down the tree, I'm the only one that touches the ornament. Every year, my father asks me which ornament I like best. I always say, 'baby Jesus!' "
"It smells like Christmas," wrote Leanna Sottile. "My favorite part of Christmas is my tree. My dad and I love going out to pick our tree. Once we get it home, I even name the tree (I love them that much.) I love just walking through the house and smelling the welcoming pine. Sometimes our cats will climb in our tree. Other times, they'll play with the pine needles.
"My favorite Christmas decoration is our tree," wrote Michaela Slayton. "One reason my family's Christmas tree is my favorite decoration is the smell of the pine needles. The smell of pine needles is surely something you will never forget. The Christmas tree also means that Christmas is almost here! Plus, the big, bulky, luscious green tree draws everyone's attention. Before all of the 'Christmas magic' happens, we go to cut down our tree. It's so much fun deciding which tree to cut down! It is hard though, they always look smaller outside. When we get our tree home we let it sit on the porch for the night. The next evening, we decorate our tree. We decorate our tree with bright lights, about 100 ornaments and, finally, an angel on top! When needles start falling, I know we're that much closer to Christmas!"
"Have you ever thought about the amazing properties of a Christmas tree," wrote Allison Shell, "with the bright lights, sparkling tinsel and piney, green branches decorated with memories of Christmases past? Christmas trees are about a lot more than how they look. They can bring back many memories and even make new ones. These green, piney trees can lift your spirit and make you feel cheerful. If you take one look at them, you know that Christmas is on its way. The first time that I ever received a Christmas tree was December 25, 2000. I haven't always thought that Christmas trees were special, but now I know that they're way more than just trees."
"My favorite Christmas decoration is my Christmas tree," wrote Ryan Heinlein. "My Christmas tree has pink, purple, yellow, orange and blue lights. There is a white angel on it. There is a yellow star at the top. The Christmas tree has Santa and Frosty dangling from the tree limb. I can decorate it on my own. I can wrap a piece of string around it. The tree is three feet tall. Also, it has my favorite ornament. My favorite ornament is a hockey stick and a puck. It has colorful candy canes on it. That's why my favorite Christmas decoration is my Christmas tree."
"My favorite Christmas ornaments are my Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Steelers ornaments," wrote Luke Blank. "They are my favorite ornaments because they are my favorite sports teams. These ornaments are black and white (besides the logo). They also have candy canes on the front and back. I received these ornaments from my cousin, Olivia, who gave them to my dad. She won the ornaments by playing 'stinky bingo' at a family reunion. That is what my favorite Christmas ornaments are on my tree."
"Do you know what shines and is a deer?" wrote Jewely Vaught. "It's a light-up deer decoration, which my grandma bought from Ollie's Bargain Bin. The doe lives with a buck and three fawn. They all shine in a big, happy family. They look like they could almost come to life and live in my grandma's yard. I love those deer and so do my pet turtles. My turtles watch from the window and stare at them in awe. The buck moves his head up and down and the doe moves her head side to side. Those deer spice up Christmas cheer."
"CLINK! CLINK! Do you know what makes that sound?" wrote Courtney Grimme. "Porcelain baby shoes that clink together on the tree. My shoes have a birthstone in the top of the shoe. The color of the stone is amethyst, which is purple. This ornament has special meaning to me. My great-aunt Sharon is the one who gave it to me. I especially like this one because it was the first Christmas gift I ever received. On the tree, the baby shoes dangle with a ribbon. Can you imagine my baby shoes on the tree?"
"Vroom! Vroom! What's that I hear?" wrote Jacob H. "Oh, it's my motorcycle Santa. It's very cool. We hang it every year. It's something we've had ever since I was eight. Motorcycle Santa has a red motorcycle. He also wears black. He's even wearing mini-sunglasses. I got it one Christmas from my grandpa. It was a gift for our whole family. We don't get to see our grandpa very much. So, it's something important. I love this ornament."
"My Christmas tree is our family tree," wrote Evan Holsinger. "It holds special meaning to our family. It is green, spiky and decorated. It is also beautiful, colorful and awesome. We received it a while ago when Value City was shutting down. We also bought many decorations for it. It is special to us. It means we can spend time together with our family, which means Christmas is coming. We have fun and we give and receive gifts. We really love our special tree and how it brings us together."
" 'Wow! Those are some nice lights you have,' " wrote Cory Myers. " 'They look like little crystals with a lot of colors dangling from your deck. Where did you get them?'
"My favorite ornament touches my heart," wrote Dalton Meyers. "The ornament is a little porcelain rocking horse that plays 'Jingle Bells.' I call the ornament, 'the little horse.' It is only about 3 1/2 inches long. It is cream-colored, gleaming and has little painted presents at the bottom of it. My grandma gave it to me before she died. Every year, she would buy me a new ornament to put on the tree. It's really special to me. It holds my memory of her. My mom's side of the family would come to my grandma's house and we'd all have a good time. This little horse brings back memories of those special Christmases. This is why I hold it in my heart as well as on my tree."
" 'Thumpity, thump thump.' I have a favorite Christmas ornament, which is a snowman bulb," wrote Megan Ott. "The snowman was made by me in kindergarten. It holds a lot of value to my family. This bulb is made with five snowmen on it, which is my hand. When I was in kindergarten, my hand was much smaller than now. So every year, I put my hand over where the snowmen are and compare it to when I was in kindergarten. The snowmen have hats on them which represents my family. I've had this ornament for almost seven years. My family loves the saying on it, 'When you trim the tree, you'll remember when my hand was just this small in 2006.' I love my blue bulb! It's so awesome and I hope it is around for my kids' grandkids."
"My favorite ornament is a cute penguin," wrote Thea Eppley. "When it's time to put ornaments on the tree, I always put it on last. I think that it is good luck to put it on by the presents so Santa will put my presents by the other presents. The ornament is a penguin wearing a red and white scarf and holding a Hershey's syrup bottle. He is standing on a red and white mug with cocoa in it. When I was 3 or 4 years old, I had received the ornament from my parents. I hung it up immediately. It was so cute to me. Why it's special is when my dad and I went sled riding, we always slid on our bellies like penguins. After, my mom gave us cocoa and we watched a movie. Ornaments are very pretty, but this one is the most special ornament."
"My favorite Christmas ornament is a SpongeBob Squarepants ornament," wrote Abby Hoffman. "The ornament is SpongeBob holding a Christmas list in his hands. Also, SpongeBob has a Santa hat on his head. This ornament was in my family since I was little. It means a lot to me. It is so special. I liked SpongeBob since I was little. I always put it on the Christmas tree. This ornament means a lot to me. That is why it is my favorite ornament."
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