19 People From All Over The Globe Spill The Beans On Why These Christmas Ornaments Are So Important

"Now every time I see this ornament, I'm reminded that I've overcome harder times in life and have seen the light at the end of the tunnel."

The holiday season is upon us, which means it's time to pull out the boxes of decorations that remain tucked away the rest of the year. Do you have one decoration that means something special to you? The folks over at Balsam Hill, a Christmas tree company, want to know. 

This year, they put together a photo series of Christmas decorations from around the world. They asked photographers to share their most memorable ornament and why they cherish it. Some look at their decorations as a symbol of something much bigger. Others are reminded of a loved one who passed when they hang the ornament up on the tree. 

"For many, an ornament is so much more than a holiday decoration one places on a tree or a mantle," representatives from Balsam Hill told A Plus in an email. "Some have been passed on for generations. Others, perhaps, represent new friendships and family unions. Overall, each item careful curated by these 41 photographers from six continents speaks to a greater sentiment — the things we value most are in fact priceless.

You can share your own precious holiday decoration and the story behind it by using the hashtag #BalsamHillChristmas. 


Check out some of the heartwarming stories and beautiful ornaments below:

1. Tirana, Albania

"My aunt passed away years ago, so this ornament reminds me that she will always be with us each Christmas holiday. She loved building snowmen; it was her favorite thing to do. When I hang this decoration on the tree each year, it makes me feel warm inside knowing we have a special ornament just for her." —Angela

2. Melbourne, Australia

"I am an assistant teacher in one of the schools for disabled children in Australia. Every year near Christmas, I take time off to celebrate with my family and friends. However, last year, I wanted to celebrate Christmas with the disabled children of our school. Two days prior to Christmas Eve, one of my students started hiding a drawing that she was making. I kept wondering what she was up to. Then, on Christmas Eve, she gave me this beautiful gift. It was a picture of Santa on his sleigh with kangaroos leading the way. I couldn't forget that moment. It feels amazing when children do something that becomes so special to you." —Chelsea

3. Dhaka, Bangladesh

"In my country, the nutcracker is used as a token of good luck and good will to protect people from the evils spirits and dangers that may exist. I was given this nutcracker by my grandmother, and it has protected multiple generations of my family ever since and helps to bring positive spirits to our holiday celebrations." —Ethol

4. Regina, Canada

"This decoration is very special to me because after my father passed away when I was eleven, my mother decided that we celebrate a new tradition — buying a new ornament together each Christmas, just the two of us. I remember the first time we were both browsing the shopping aisles together and wanted something to represent our mutual love for music, but this was the only ornament that went with 'music' so we ended up getting the same one. My mother ended up passing away when I was 17, but every Christmas I continue the tradition with her in mind, next to my side." —Hailey

5. Thessaloniki, Greece

"Over 20 years old and carrying so many memories, this reindeer broom is my favorite Christmas decoration by far. Its clothing, hands and head are made out of felt, and its nose is stitched after a crazy bite from our adorable dog, Sirius, who has now passed away. My mother used to place this decoration near the fireplace on Christmas. Over the years, my parents got divorced, and I haven't seen my father since. This little creature brings back those cherished family memories near the fireplace, reminding me of all the Christmas stories, candies and presents we would share with each other." —Sotria

6. Cap-Haitien, Haiti


"These artisan snowflakes are made from handcrafted paper beads and were created by my mother and her friend in Haiti. It is a symbol of more than just Christmas; it represents generosity, hope and empowerment. The beautiful bright colors showcase the green mountains, blue oceans and yellow sun of its Caribbean origin. Every year I decorate my Christmas tree with these handmade snowflakes, and it connects me with the woman of Haiti who sat alongside my mother rolling each individual bead together." —Lalita

7. Budapest, Hungary

"Handmade by a young, disabled child, this ornament means the world to me. It was made by a child who put her heart into creating something beautiful for the holiday celebration and did so from natural materials like branches, seeds and vines. It makes me remember to never judge a book by its cover, as this ornament may not appear to be fancy and expensive on the outside, but it has deeper, more meaningful values on the inside. Knowing that this child worked so hard to create this special ornament makes it the most memorable Christmas decoration in my collection." —Zsuzsanna

8. Ludhiana, India

"This golden bauble is small, yet priceless and very special to me as it reminds me of my husband. It was our first Christmas Eve together being married, and my husband bought a pack of golden baubles for us to use in decorating the tree. When he gifted me this pack of beautiful baubles, he said that I have a beautiful glow just like these baubles, and it made me feel like a Princess. I still remember that intimate moment we shared together decorating the tree with these golden decorations." —Manbir

9. Mexico City, Mexico

"These ornaments are handmade Mexican dolls crafted by our late grandmother. She learned how to hand weave these dolls on a trip to Guatemala where she also met my grandfather. We value having these special ornaments on our tree every Christmas as they remind us of not only our cultural traditions, but also of our grandparent's presence and how they would bring the family together every holiday season." —Sausi

10. Owo, Nigeria

"This ornament was given to me by my college best friend, Christola, who has since passed away from cancer. We played in our school band as drummers, and every time I see this ornament, it reminds me of all the fun memories we had together throughout school. Every year I place this ornament near the top of my Christmas tree so Christola can watch over us while we celebrate the holiday traditions in my family." —Aiken

11. Warsaw, Poland

"The year this was given to me I had a breakdown. I was depressed and frustrated. But as the months passed, I was able to overcome my hardships. To celebrate my success, my boyfriend bought me this fun ornament and placed it under the tree that year. Now every time I see this ornament, I'm reminded that I've overcome harder times in life and have seen the light at the end of the tunnel." —Ania

12. Timisoara, Romania

"This decoration holds a special value like no other decoration ever will, as it's a table piece that I've built from various decorations I've acquired over the years. The orange ornament ball is from the year I graduated high school. The cone with the foam snowballs is from the year that I learned that the truth sets us free. And the green textured globe comes from the year that I traveled to 12 different countries around the world." —Cristea

13. Saint Petersburg, Russia

"One year I volunteered at an orphaned children's community here in Russia. A group from the community made these Russian dolls and gifted them to me as an appreciation and celebration of the holiday season. I will never forget those children, and every year when I place these ornaments on the tree, I'm reminded of the fun days spent with them listening to holiday music, telling stories and making new friends." —Anastasiya

14. Glasgow, Scotland

"This bulldog is not the best looking, or the most festive, or even the most expensive Christmas decoration in the world, but to my girlfriend and I, this is easily our most prized and meaningful decoration. After buying our first house together in early December 2010, I surprised my girlfriend with a new bulldog puppy for Christmas — something we had discussed before for a number of years but were waiting on until we had our own house. Our good friend saw this bulldog decoration while doing the last of her Christmas shopping, and knowing I was going to surprise my girlfriend with a new bulldog puppy, she decided to buy it for us. We instantly loved it and now place it on our Christmas tree every year as a special memory of our new puppy." —Craig

15. Colombo, Sri Lanka

"This holiday decoration set was hand painted by both my grandparents many years ago. We use it to celebrate both Buddha Day (Vesākha) and Christmas holidays in Sri Lanka. My grandparents were artists who loved to paint and celebrate holidays with the family. They have since passed on but their memory remains with us every holiday season when we decorate our house with these decorations." —Ama

16. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

"I'm a student at the University of Tanzania in East Africa studying journalism. One year ago, I was writing a piece on the cultural differences between East Africa and America. While researching my topic, I visited a local NGO and there I met a young boy named Yesuto. He handmade this mask and colored it himself. The mask was so beautiful that I couldn't resist asking him for it. Yesuto gifted me this mask and said, "Hang this mask on your Christmas tree as it will bring you good luck and happiness." I'll never forget that young boy, Yesuto, as I decorate my Christmas tree each year with this special mask." —Ola

17. Gucara, Venezuela

"My mother and father made this decoration together before I was born. By using mistletoe, ball decorations and sticks, they crafted this holiday decoration that sat above our front door every year. My parents eventually gifted it to me as a celebration of our family coming together. Every year I unpack this decoration from storage, and it makes me think of all our family memories growing up. Christmas is always a happy time filled with so much love and joy in our family." —Malvis

18. Birmingham, United Kingdom

"My two little sisters gifted me this special handmade star bunting ornament on Christmas Eve. They live in India, and I have not seen them since 2011. We share a special bond, and this gift made me realize that no matter how far apart we live, we will always be connected to one another just like this star bunting. I was touched by this precious and timeless gift, and every time I see it, it makes me feel warm and special knowing that we will always be connected as siblings." — Gavin

19. Nebraska, United States

"My mother passed away a few years ago, and this decoration seems to be the strongest tie I have to her. It is my very first Christmas ornament and given to me by my mother. Every year, mom and I had always looked forward to putting Christmas ornaments on the tree together, and we saved our "first ornaments" for last. So now every time I see this ornament, I have a longing for the house I grew up in and the memories that are tucked away in it." —Mike

This is a repost of a previously published A Plus post.


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