The CBC Your News Community Christmas Tree
Keepsakes, life firsts and love — the ornaments that adorn your Christmas trees
THE CBC YOUR NEWS COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS TREE
Keepsakes, life firsts and love — the ornaments that adorn your Christmas trees
They are the ornaments you unpack every year, hang first on your tree and could never part with. They remind you of old memories as you make new ones each year. They tell a story, your story and we thank you for sharing.
Grab a cup of hot cocoa and gather 'round the CBC Your News Community Christmas tree.
Come Christmastime, twinkling lights, candles and garlands adorn homes. But the tree takes centre stage. Tucked in its boughs are keepsakes, life firsts and love. We asked you to show us your cherished ornaments: a toilet paper tube angel that crowns the tree, miniature mittens hand-knit by your grandmother and a pasta-art picture frame were among the decorations near and dear to you.
My wife and I have bought an ornament for ourselves each Christmas since we got married almost ten years ago. We continued this little tradition with both our children. The older one wanted to try paper mache, so we decided to make Christmas ornaments last month.
— Michael Lee, Toronto, ON
This ornament was made about 39 years ago! A paper plate coloured with marker — I can still smell them in my imagination — and a Christmas card cutout. Every year, we hung it behind the tree. Mom saved it and now that she is gone, we still hang it behind our tree.
— Anita Benedict, Maitland, NS
This beautiful toilet paper roll angel has topped our Christmas tree for 20 years. It was made by my daughter when she was about eight years old. It has tissue paper wings and a tin foil halo. Minor repairs have been required from time to time but her smile never fades!
— Christine Lees, Bracebridge, ON
(R) My mother's family lived in a tiny community 12 miles above Fredericton in the early part of the 20th century. Mum was the youngest of six and when her older sister came to Saint John to go to Business College in 1918, she bought ornaments for her little sister to have on their tree. This is the remaining one that hangs proudly on my cousin's tree each year. It is 95 years old.
— Elizabeth Brewer, Saint John, NB
(L) Although our four children are young adults, we still continue to decorate our house and tree with the crafts they made when they were young. Our "real" tree is full of memories from the last 26 years. The star ornament was made by our youngest daughter Jillian, now 20 years old and in her third year of university.
— Connie Tenaski, Saskatoon, SK
My wife's mom made the baby booty ornament about 15 years ago. Her mom secretly slipped the ornament into my wife's Christmas stocking to surprise her. Needless to say, when my wife saw it for the first time, Christmas gift opening came to an abrupt halt as they shared a tear and facial tissues were passed around the room.
— Terry Babin, Shediac, NB
Every year since we moved to Ottawa from Winnipeg, my mom has sent me a box of tree ornaments from her collection — some are close to 100 years old. My mom has hundreds of ornaments so she loves to share them with the family. Of the dozens of ornaments she has sent us, these little felt Santas are our favourite. They are about 35 to 40 years old and we think they may have come from the Eaton's catalogue. They were ordered by either my parents or grandparents. One of them still has a little paper tag on the string that says "Japan Made." These little Santas really bring a smile to our faces!
— Judy Lincoln, Ottawa, ON
On his first Christmas, I bought him a Christmas stocking. When I went to hang the stockings, I thought: how could I hang Zachary's stocking, which would remain empty? It was suggested to me that I might put something in Zachary's stocking, from Zachary, to Ethan. Now, each year, for his brother and now his sister, Abigail, two ornaments are placed in Zachary's stocking — one for Abby and one for Ethan, and they know that they are gifts from their brother. The ornaments represent what was important or central to Ethan and Abby that year. The first two ornaments placed on the tree are our Zachary's first Christmas ornament and a teddy bear with a stop sign, as he aspired to be a crossing guard. Now my tree is full of white lights, red balls, Zachary's ornaments and gifts from Zachary to his siblings.
He is forever loved and remembered and included in all we do!
—Dr. Lori Triano, Hamilton, ON
I had always decorated my tree with white lights and red balls —and I might add — it always looked beautiful. Then in 1997, my beautiful first born son, Zachary Antidormi, was murdered. I did not decorate anything for a few years. When my second son, Ethan, was born, I knew I had to try to live and celebrate again.
Every year at Christmas time, my mom gives each of her children, grandchildren and most recently her great-grandchildren a bag of her highly-anticipated and greatly-treasured home knit treasures — slippers, mitts, dishcloths, Barbie doll outfits — just to name a few items. My all-time favourite has to be her hand-knit miniature mitten ornaments that I proudly collect and display on our Christmas tree each and every year. Mom recently told me that it takes her about five hours to knit just one pair of these miniature mittens! Can you imagine? What an amazing gift of love. Thanks Mom! Love you!
— Darlene Webber Crawford, Smiths Falls, ON
An 'amazing gift of love'
This toilet paper roll angel adorns the top of our tree. My son made it when he attended daycare. He's 22 now.
—Sharen Skelly, Owen Sound, ON
We decorated these wreaths using the horseshoes of our beloved horses that have passed on. The big shoe is from our family horse who taught my kids and many others how to ride. We lost him this past summer. He was huge! A Clydesdale-cross that looked even bigger when the kids were young and riding him. He was truly the gentle giant. As we were cleaning, painting, ribbon threading and attaching the shoes, we shared so many fond memories.
When friends visit they often ask: "are those shoes from your horses?" I welcome that question as it presents another opportunity to share some of the many stories we had together.
It's more than just a wreath.
— Ellie Ross, Ayr, ON
'More than just a wreath'
My children attended day care in Windsor, Ont. and were always making crafts. These ornaments were done 10 years ago and I have not missed a year placing them on the tree. I also have a couple other Popsicle stick reindeer ornaments they made. I have always put the special homemade ones in a small box. Lucky for me because we moved this past June and I am missing the large bag of other ornaments! I love these ornaments and so do my kids!
— Sue Gabriele, Guelph, ON
Thirty-three years ago, we were given this homemade beaded bell as a wedding present from an elderly lady in the parish. Her instructions were for us to jointly put this ornament as the first ornament on our tree each year, while remembering our vows, our love for each other and the year that had just passed. That lovely lady died many years ago, but her gift lives on. Over the years, I have shared this story and other bell ornaments made of ceramic, pewter or silver with other brides and grooms who are special to us. The legacy continues from this tiny gift.
— Elizabeth Tumblin, Sea View, PEI
(R) My tree is a mixture of store bought and homemade.
I have all of my grandmother's tree ornaments since she has moved into an old age home. My favourites are ones like this that she hand-crocheted.
— Erin Campbell, Ottawa, ON
(L) My favourite ornament was made for me by my mom. She crafted it using some of my grandmother's favourite fabric. It always reminds me that the Christmases we share are reflections of the Christmases that came before us.
— Louise Wallace, Salmon Arm, B.C.
I have had this ornament for as long as I can remember. I am pretty sure this is around 30 years old. My maternal grandmother lived in B.C. and I was living in Ontario. It has always meant a lot to me since I was so far from that side of my family.
— Amanda Salmon, Mission, B.C.
A sentimental —but not homemade — favourite: the medallion with the child on it was a gift from my aunt to commemorate my son's christening. My son made the little red pig on an afternoon when he visited the local high school. My son is 22 now. His creation has graced our tree for the past 18 years! The Santa was made for me by my grandmother.
— Janice Davis, Toronto, ON
(R) Here's a collection of handmade Christmas ornaments my dad Rudi made each year since 1985. They bring back the memories and the dedication he had to woodwork.
—Ed Jonas, Devon, AB
(L) A champagne bottle cork with my daughter's name and date and time of birth written on it. We popped open that bottle of champagne to celebrate her birth and made a Christmas ornament with the cork.It's not beautifully decorated or anything but it's the most important ornament on our tree.
—Daisy Mak, Vancouver, B.C.
This is a piece of the first Christmas tree that my wife and I shared together 20 years ago.
It is kept secure in a heart-shaped clear container. It has been on every tree we have had since.
— Robert Drain, Toronto, ON
One of the great things about having kids is the beautiful artwork. — Brad MacDonald, Hamilton, ON
My special kindergarten creation that still goes on the tree.
—Susana da Silva, CBC Vancouver reporter
Here are ornaments I just made with my Kindergarten class. Hope they are cherished.
—Jen Mackenzie-Miller, Cambridge, ON