Every year, Days of our Lives fans watch as Horton Christmas ornaments are hung on the tree. It is a tradition viewers enjoy, as it pays homage to those Horton family members that have been lost and new ones who joined the family during the year.
Over the years, the episode featuring the hanging of the ornaments, with the names of the Horton family members on them, airs on December 24. It is a tradition that NBC soap opera works hard to keep on track, as fans love to watch the special episode as they prepare for their own holiday festivities.
When did the Horton Christmas ornament tradition begin?
The Horton Christmas ornaments tradition began over 50 years ago when it was revealed family patriarch Tom Horton’s mother made the first original seven ornaments. Tom, Alice, Mickey, Bill, Addie, Tommy Jr., and Marie’s ornaments first aired in 1966 and were only shown on the tree until 1970.
#OnThisDay in 1971, the Horton family gathered on Christmas Eve. Although the Horton Christmas ornaments were first seen in 1966, this episode marked the first time they were hung on the tree on screen (thanks to Jason47 for that info!) #ClassicDays #Days pic.twitter.com/uQudCvdyO9
— ThoseWereTheDAYS (@Daysofour_Lives) December 23, 2019
In 1971, the first Horton ornaments ceremony aired, starting a new Christmas Eve tradition for the family, as well as fans of the NBC soap opera.
Family matriarch Alice began making the ornaments that year and introduced new ones for Julie, Stephen, Sandy, Mike, David, Laura, Scott, and Doug.
How does one get a Horton Christmas ornament?
The tradition is to honor members of the legendary Salem family. There are only two ways for someone to earn a spot on the infamous tree, and they are pretty simple. A person has to be born into the Horton clan, or marry into it.
Yes, every person who wed into the family has an ornament. Even if the marriage ended in divorce, the decoration lives on forever. However, after a divorce, those ornaments are retired and are not placed on the tree for obvious reasons.
Thanks to all the marriages and babies born into the Horton clan, there are reportedly over 65 ornaments connected to the tradition.
There is one exception to the must be a family member rule. In 2001. following 9/11, ten special ornaments were placed on the tree to honor the many lives lost on that horrific day.
FDNY, NYPD, EMT, Father Mychal Judge, Larry Virgilio, Joe Sacerdote, Susan Pollio, Sal Zisa, Steve Schlag, and a picture of the American flag ornaments were all placed on the Horton family tree during a special Christmas episode.
Who has a Horton Christmas ornament?
According to Days superfan, Jason47, these are all of the characters that have had an ornament over the years. Alice, Tom, Mickey, Bill, Addie, Marie, Tommy Jr., Julie, Stephen, Sandy, Mike, David, Laura, Scott, Doug, Hope, Maggie, Jennifer, Janice, Dougie, Scotty, Trish, Margo, Spencer, Jessica, Sarah, Melissa, Bo, Faith, Jack, Shawn Douglas, Abby, Lucas, Peter, Jeremy, Will, Nicole, Carrie, John Thomas, Zack Bonnie, JJ, Chelsea, Nicholas, Joshua & Claire Ciara, Allie, Johnny, Belle, Chloe, Sami, Nathan, Victor, Daniel, Melanie, Gabi, Arianna Grace, Stephanie, Sonny, Chase, Parker, Thomas Jack, Chad, Eli, Rafe, and David.
Days of our Lives airs weekdays on NBC.