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.
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Janice Selak | Johnstown
“My late husband, Joseph J. Freidhoff, made this nativity for our first Christmas together in 1955,” wrote Janice Selak of Johnstown.
Helen Teno | Portage
“These ceramic nativity figures were made for me by my daughters Kathy, Karen, and Teresa, when they were in high school back in the year 1974 which they painted and surprised me with them,” Helen Teno of Portage. “I put it up every year in my house. It's one of my favorite treasures.”
Kelly Null | Johnstown
“This hand tree was created by my parents when I was very young out of the handprints of my family members,” wrote Kelly Null of Johnstown. “We hang it up on our door every year and I have occasionally added new ornaments.”
Gary & Elaine Kinley | Richland
“This little angel has adorned our Christmas tree, every year since 1960, 52 years,” Gary and Elaine Kinley of Richland Township. “She was on our first tree and continues to shine brightly for us every year.”
Pat McGlynn | Johnstown
“My mother, Alice McGlynn of Hastings, goes all out decorating for every season but especially for Christmas,” wrote Pat McGlynn of Johnstown. “This is just a small sample of some of her decorations. She has set up a Christmas village with all the buildings and many, many villagers on her coffee table in the living room. Through the years all of her 12 grandchildren and now her five great-grandchildren love to come to see Gram's decorations.”
Ernie Penatzer | New Germany
“About eight years ago I received a Christmas card with a picture of Santa elevating the flag. She said it reminded her of me,” wrote Ernie Penatzer of New Germany. “I kept drawing the Santa form a tiny picture on the card until it was the size of the picture. I cut it out of plywood and painted it. If I don’t put it out early everyone asks, ‘where is your Santa?’”
John & Sharon Gustkey | Johnstown
“Our children made these decorations in 1988,” wrote John and Sharon Gustkey of Johnstown. “They were ages 8, 7 and 6 years old. They are made from wooden ice cream spoons. (From little Dixie cups.) They surprised us Christmas day, giving us these as gifts. We cherish them so much. They are the first things hung and the last things taken down. And we reminisce of how much they mean to us.”
Bonne Camblin | Johnstown
“Christmas was always a very special time in our household due to my father being a pastor,” wrote Bonnie Camblin of Johnstown. “When my parents, Rev. Don and Shirley Sease, were married on June 22, 1951, one of the first things they did was to purchase a tree topper for their first Christmas tree. They purchased a silver foil Santa tree topper that would appear every Christmas at the top of our tree. As children, my brother, Tim, and I would anticipate his arrival when the tree was decorated. As we grew up, married and had our own families, we often joked about Grammy’s tattered foil Santa. No matter what ornaments came and went, my mother never strayed from using that special tree toppper - a symbol of their first Christmas as a married couple. Today both our parents are gone, yet their old foil Santa now sits atop my family’s Christmas tree, reflecting the love our parents so generously bestowed upon all the members of our families throughout their lifetime.”
Dorothy M. Boyer | Stoystown
“This is a collection of approximately 15 years of Snow Babies representing memories of friends’ gifts, trips, visits and purchases at Christmas,” wrote Dorothy M. Boyer of Stoystown. “There are 78 and no two are alike. It has become a conversation piece and reminiscing for friends and family.”
Jean Benedict | Johnstown
“I’ve been collecting salt and pepper shakers for 60 years or more,” wrote Jean Benedict of Johnstown. “This year, I thought I would decorate with my Christmas ones. Every year I do put ones out but not all and every year I get more. I especially treasure the ones my sister got me on their honeymoon 55 years ago. She got them in New Jersey.”
John Buser | Boswell
“We lived in Southmont for many years and our house was on Cheney Street high on a hill and we had the Noel where it was visible for all to see,” John Buser of Boswell. “The Noel is about 53 years old. The wreath we made from the grape vines we found in the woods nearby and is about 42 years old. We live in the country now. Our children are all grown and have moved elsewhere but coming home for Christmas and seeing these decorations are very meaningful for them.”
VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man
One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.
VIDEO | A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong
The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.
VIDEO | Northern California bus crash kills 10
At least nine people died in Northern California on Thursday night, in an accident involving a bus, a car and FedEx truck. The bus was filled with high school students from Southern California who were on their way to visit a college campus.
VIDEO | Cement truck crashes into minivan
A professor at Texas A&M University was fortunate to escape serious injury recently when a cement truck ran a red light at a College Station intersection and crashed head-on into his minivan. A dash camera that Dr. Guan Zhu had installed about a year ago captured the entire incident.
VIDEO: Pittsburgh catches on to McCutchen's hairstyle
Major League Baseball is using Andrew McCutchen in its newest advertisement. The spot is part of the "For the Love of Baseball" campaign and features the Pittsburgh residents showing their support for the Pirates center fielder and reigning National League MVP by wearing their hair in his trademark dreadlock style.
VIDEO | Nebraska prom mishap goes viral
A group of 22 high school students from Pierce, Neb., all decked out in prom finery, took an unplanned dip in a four-foot-deep pond when the bridge they were posing on for pictures gave way. Photos from the incident have gone viral on social media.
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VIDEO | White House may ban selfies
The White House wasn't too pleased after Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped a selfie with President Obama that was later used promotionally by Samsung.
VIDEO | Amazing dance moves at NCAA title game
Eye-catching action wasn't confined to the court at AT&T Stadium Monday night during the NCAA Championship game between UConn and Kentucky. This pair -- apparently a father and son -- delighted the crowd during a timeout with some synchronized dance moves.
VIDEO | Aaron's historic homer
On the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th career home run, take a look at the historic moment as it happened.
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- VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man