The Christmas Story Readers

"Days of Our Lives" is famous for its annual hanging of the Horton ornaments at the Horton House house each year. However, another long tradition in Salem is the reading of the Christmas Story to the sick children at University Hospital each year. The children are played by real-life children of the cast and crew. Here's a look back at who has read the story since 1983:

1983: Wayne Northrop (Roman Brady).
1984: [The story was not read].
1985: Andrea Barber (Carrie Brady) & Brian Matthews (Brother Francis).
1986: Macdonald Carey (Tom Horton).
1987: Macdonald Carey (Tom Horton).
1988: Macdonald Carey (Tom Horton).
1989: George Jenesky (Nick Corelli).
1990: Peter Reckell (Bo Brady).
1991: Richard Biggs (Marcus Hunter).
1992: Matthew Ashford (Jack Deveraux). (*at St. Luke's)
1993: Macdonald Carey (Tom Horton) & Frances Reid (Alice Horton).
1994: Roark Critchlow (Mike Horton).
1995: [With a majority of the cast in "Aremid", the story was not read].
1996: Roark Critchlow (Mike Horton).
1997: Peter Reckell (Bo Brady).
1998: Roark Critchlow (Mike Horton).
1999: Frances Reid (Alice Horton).
2000: Frances Reid (Alice Horton).
2001: [Special flashback episode; flashbacks of Tom & Alice are used].
2002: Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe Lane).
2003: Melissa Reeves (Jennifer Deveraux).
2004: Melissa Reeves (Jennifer Deveraux).
2005: Jason Cook (Shawn Brady).
2006: Stephen Nichols (Steve Johnson).
2007: Darin Brooks (Max Brady).
2008: Bill Hayes (Doug Williams).
2009: Mark Hapka (Nathan Horton).
2010: Terrell Ransom Jr. (Theo Carver) & David Shatraw (Father James). (*split reading/not at hospital).
2011: Bill Hayes (Doug Williams). (*at Horton Town Square)
2012: Melissa Reeves (Jennifer Horton).
2013: Kate Mansi (Abigail Deveraux).
 
A HORTON FAMILY TRADITION:
THE HORTON ORNAMENTS

     "Days of Our Lives" celebrates Christmas each year with the long-standing tradition of the hanging of the Horton Christmas ornaments on the tree at Alice's house. It was stated in 1971 that Grandma Horton (Tom's mother) made the original seven ornaments (Tom, Alice, Mickey, Bill, Addie, Marie, Tommy). Alice then began making the ornaments for the rest of the family. Since 1983, 75 characters have been seen at the annual ceremony: 37 Horton family members (which includes the quick marriages of Lucas to Nicole; Jennifer to Peter; and Mickey to Bonnie) as well as 38 guests (only Abe, Belle, Billie, Chloe, Emilio, Gabi, John, Marlena, Sami, Sonny and Victror have attended more than once as a guest). The least amount of people to ever attend was 5 in 1983 and 2010. The most amount of people to ever attend was 21 in 2004. 33 characters (including two erroneously given to Carrie and Stephanie, see notes below) have received a Horton ornament on the tree since 1983, and a total of 58 characters have had an ornament through the years.
 
**For pictures of the various Horton Christmas ornaments, please visit Beth's Days Website Christmas Page
  
**The votes are in and 1990 received the most votes from "Days" viewers as their favorite Christmas.

YEAR-BY-YEAR ATTENDANCE AT THE HORTON ORNAMENT CEREMONY

1983 (5): Tom, Alice, Marie, Hope, Melissa

1984 (10):
Tom, Alice, Mickey, Marie, Hope, Melissa, Bo; guests: Marlena, Don, Abe  

1985 (16):
Tom, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Hope, Bo, Jennifer, Mike, Melissa, Sarah; guests: Marlena, Chris, Pete, Carrie, Sami, Eric

1986 (13): Tom, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Doug, Hope, Bo, Jennifer, Mike, Melissa, Sarah; guests: Glen, Ivy

1987 (10): Tom, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Bill, Janice, Jennifer, Melissa, Sarah; guest: Frankie

1988 (10): Tom, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Mike, Jennifer, Sarah; guests: Emilio, April, Julio

1989 (10): Tom, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Mike, Jennifer, Sarah, Scott; guests: Faith, Emilio

1990 (12): Tom, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Melissa, Sarah, Jennifer, Bo, Shawn Douglas, Jack; seen outside the window only: Carly

1991 (8): Tom, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Jennifer, Jack; guest: Chip 

1992 (10): Tom, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Bill, Julie, Jennifer, Jack, Abigail; guest: Jo

1993 (8): Tom, Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Jennifer, Abigail
(*Scene takes place in Tom's hospital room)

1994 (11): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Laura, Mike, Jennifer, Abigail, Peter; seen outside the window only: Jack 
(Gina (an amnesiac Hope) gets an ornament and places it on the tree in the next episode)

1995 (8): Mickey, Maggie, Laura, Mike, Jennifer, Abigail, Peter, Jack
(*Scene takes place in Aremid) 

1996 (8): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Mike, Lucas, Jennifer, Abigail, Jack 

1997 (11): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Laura, Hope, Bo, Shawn Douglas, Mike, Abigail, Jack, Jennifer

1998 (8): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Laura, Mike, Bo, Hope, Shawn Douglas

1999 (10): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Gina as Hope, Shawn Douglas, Lucas, Nicole

2000 (11): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Shawn Douglas, Jennifer, Abigail, JT

2001 (16): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Shawn Douglas, Jennifer, Jack; guests: John, Marlena, Belle, Brady, Chloe, Philip

2002 (15): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Shawn Douglas, Jennifer, Jack, Abigail, Lucas, Will, Zack; guest: Belle

2003 (10): Alice, Mickey, Bo, Hope, Shawn Douglas, Jennifer, Lucas, Will, Zack; guest: Belle

2004 (21): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Shawn Douglas, Jennifer, Abigail, Lucas, Will, Zack, Bonnie; guests: Chelsea, Sami, Mimi, Billie, Patrick, Rex, Jan

2005 (12): Alice, Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Zack, Jennifer, Abigail, Jack Jr.; seen outside window only: Jack

2006 (14): Alice, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Shawn Douglas, Claire, Lucas, Will, Nick, Chelsea; guests: Sami, Belle
 
2007 (14): Alice, Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Shawn Douglas, Claire, Nick, Chelsea, Ciara; guests: Sami, Belle, Billie

2008 (14): Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Lucas, Chelsea, Ciara; guests: John, Marlena, Abe, Lexie, Chloe, Theo

2009 (11): Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Lucas, Will, Nathan, Ciara, Allie; guest: Stephanie

2010 (5): Maggie, Julie, Doug, Jennifer, Ciara

2011 (12): Maggie, Julie, Doug, Bo, Hope, Jennifer, Jack, Abigail, Ciara, Melanie, Daniel; guest: Chad

2012 (15): Maggie, Julie, Doug, Jennifer, Lucas, Abigail, Will, Nick, Allie; guests: Victor, Rafe, Gabi, Sonny; on phone limbo: Hope, Ciara

2013 (17): Maggie, Julie, Doug, Hope, Jennifer, Lucas, Abigail, Will, JJ, Ciara, Allie, Arianna; guests: Victor, Gabi, Sonny, Adrienne, Kate

 

HORTON ORNAMENT DEBUTS:

(There have been a total of 58 characters to have an ornament)

1971: Alice, Tom, Mickey, Bill, Addie, Marie, Tommy, Julie, Steven, Sandy, Mike, David, Laura, Scott, Doug
Between 1972-1982: Hope, Maggie, Jennifer, Janice, Dougie, Scotty, Trish*, Margo, Jessica, Sarah
1983: Melissa
1986: Bo & "Baby" (for the yet-to-be-born Shawn Douglas)
1989: Faith*
1990: Jack & Shawn Douglas
1992: Abby
1994: Gina (while Hope had amnesia), Lucas
1995: Peter*
1996: Jeremy
1998: Will
1999: Nicole* & Carrie**
2000: John Thomas
2002: Zack
2004: Bonnie* & Jack Patrick (changed to Jack Jr. in 2005)
2005: Chelsea
2006: Nicholas, Joshua & Claire
2007: Ciara, Alice Caroline (aka Allie), Johnny Roman (aka Johnny)
2008: Belle, Chloe* & Sami
2009: Nathan
2011: Victor, Daniel & Melanie
2012: Gabi
2013: Arianna Grace, Stephanie**

*With the divorces of Trish, Peter, Nicole, Bonnie and Chloe, these five ornaments have been retired. Faith's also has been retired (she had yet to marry Scott by the time they left Salem in 1990)
**Carrie's & Stephanie's ornaments have never been explained. It was never stated that Mike married Carrie, but her ornament was introduced after both had left the show in 1999. It was seen as recently as 2005 in the ornament box, right next to Mike's, and has been retired since then. Stephanie was engaged to Nathan, but never married him, yet her ornament showed up in 2013, long after both had left Salem.


In 2001, "Days" aired a special Christmas episode. As part of the episode, ten special ornaments were hung to honor the memory of the many lives lost on 9/11. The ten ornaments shown were: FDNY, NYPD, EMT, Father Mychal Judge, Larry Virgilio, Joe Sacerdote, Susan Pollio, Sal Zisa, Steve Schlag, and a picture of the American flag. Here are links to tributes from CNN.com: Father Mychal Judge, Susan Pollio, Joseph Sacerdote, Steven Schlag, Lawrence Virgilio, Salvatore Zisa.

Alphabetical listing of the 58 characters to have had a Horton ornament on the tree: Abby, Addie, Alice, Alice Caroline (Allie), Arianne Grace, Belle, Bill, Bo, Bonnie, Carrie, Chelsea, Chloe, Ciara, Claire, Daniel, David, Doug, Dougie, Faith, Gabi, Hope, Jack, Jack Jr., Janice, Jennifer, Jeremy, Jessica, John Thomas, Johnny Roman, Joshua, Julie, Laura, Lucas, Maggie, Margo, Marie, Melanie, Melissa, Mickey, Mike, Nathan, Nicholas, Nicole, Peter, Sami, Sandy, Sarah, Scott, Scotty, Shawn Douglas, Stephanie, Steven, Tom, Tommy, Trish, Victor, Will, Zack.

HORTON ORNAMENT CEREMONY ATTENDANCE BY CHARACTER:

MAGGIE: 28 years
Suzanne Rogers: 85-02, 04-13

ALICE: 24 years
Frances Reid: 83-94, 96-07

JENNIFER: 23 years
Melissa Reeves: 85-94; 00-05, 10-13
Stephanie Cameron: 95-97

MICKEY: 22 years
John Clarke: 84-03
John Ingle: 04-05

HOPE: 20 years
Kristian Alfonso: 83-86, 97-09, 11-13

JULIE: 19 years
Susan Seaforth Hayes: 90-94, 99-02, 04-13

BO: 18 years
Peter Reckell: 84-86, 90, 97-09, 11

DOUG: 17 years
Bill Hayes: 86, 93-94, 99-02, 04-13

ABIGAIL: 13 years
Meghan & Michael Nelson: 92-93
Paige & Ryanne Kettner: 94-97, 00
Megan Corletto: 02
Ashley Benson: 04-05
Kate Mansi: 11-13

JACK: 11 years
Matthew Ashford: 90-92, 01-02, 05*, 11
Mark Valley: 94*-96
Steve Wilder: 97
 
SHAWN DOUGLAS: 11 years
Scott Groff: 90
Collin O'Donnell: 97-98
Jason Cook: 99-04
Brandon Beemer: 06-07

TOM: 11 years
Macdonald Carey: 83-93

LUCAS: 10 years
Bryan Dattilo: 96, 99, 02-04, 06, 08-09, 12-13
 
MIKE: 9 years
Michael Weiss: 85-86, 88-89
Roark Critchlow: 94-98

CIARA: 7 years
Dakoda & Danica Hobbs: 07
Lauren Boles: 08-13

WILL: 7 years
Darian Weiss: 02
Christopher Gerse: 03-04, 06
Dylan Michael Patton: 09
Chandler Massey: 12-13

MELISSA: 6 years
Lisa Trusel: 83-87
Camilla Scott: 90

SARAH: 6 years
Lisa Brinegar: 85-88
Shana Lane-Block: 89
Aimee Brooks: 90

BELLE: 5 years
Kirsten Storms: 01-03
Martha Madison: 06-07

 CHELSEA: 4 years
Mandy Musgrave: 04
Rachel Melvin: 06-08

LAURA: 4 years
Jaime Lyn Bauer: 94-95, 97-98

MARLENA: 4 years
Deidre Hall: 84-85, 01, 08

SAMI: 4 years
Jessica Davis: 85
Alison Sweeney: 04, 06-07
 
ZACK: 4 years
Garrett & Spencer Fraye: 02-05

ALLIE: 3 years
Campbell & Carolyn Rose: 09, 12-13

NICK: 3 years
Blake Berris: 06-07, 12

ABE: 2 years
James Reynolds: 84, 08

BILL: 2 years
Christopher Stone: 87
Edward Mallory: 92
 
BILLIE: 2 years
Julie Pinson: 04, 07

CHLOE: 2 years
Nadia Bjorlin: 01, 08

CLAIRE: 2 years
Ava & Olivia White: 06-07
 
EMILIO: 2 years
Billy Hufsey: 88-89

GABI: 2 years
Camila Banus: 12-13

JJ: 2 years
Jacob & Micah Reeves: 05
Casey Moss: 13

JOHN: 2 years
Drake Hogestyn: 01, 08

MARIE: 2 years
Lanna Saunders: 83-84

PETER: 2 years
Jason Brooks: 94-95

SONNY: 2 years
Freddie Smith: 12-13

VICTOR: 2 years
John Aniston: 12-13

1 year only:
ADRIENNE (Judi Evans): 13
APRIL
(Lisa Howard): 88
ARIANNA (Harper & Sydnee Udell): 13
BONNIE (Judi Evans): 04
BRADY (Kyle Lowder): 01
CARLY (Crystal Chappell): 90*
CARRIE (Andrea Barber): 85
CHAD (Casey Deidrick): 11
CHIP (Jay Pickett): 91
CHRIS (Josh Taylor): 85
DANIEL (Shawn Christian): 11
DON (Jed Allan): 84
ERIC (Jesse Davis): 85
FAITH (Mindy Clarke): 89
FRANKIE (Billy Warlock): 87
GLEN (Rob Estes): 86
IVY (Holly Gagnier): 86
JAN (Heather Lindell): 04
JANICE (Elizabeth Storm): 87
JO (Joy Garrett): 92
J.T. (Jacob & Joshua Rips): 00
JULIO (Michael Bays): 88
KATE (Lauren Koslow): 13
LEXIE (Renee Jones): 08
MELANIE (Molly Burnett): 11
MIMI
(Farah Fath): 04
NATHAN (Mark Hapka): 09
NICOLE (Arianne Zuker): 99
PATRICK (Brody Hutzler): 04
PETE (Michael Leon): 85
PHILIP (Jay Johnson): 01
RAFE (Galen Gering): 12
REX (Eric Winter): 04
SCOTT (Rick Hearst): 89
STEPHANIE (Shelley Hennig): 09
THEO (Terrell Ransom Jr.): 08

*: seen outside window only

Christmas Notes: 1983-Present

1983: An undercover Roman, as Santa Claus, sneaks into a comatose Carrie's room and reads her the Christmas story, helping her to wake up...Liz sings many songs: "The Christmas Song", "White Christmas", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", "Jingle Bells", and "Deck the Halls."

1984:
On the Christmas Eve episode, the cast sings "O Little Town of Bethlehem" as a Christmas wreath is featured over the "Days" credits. On the Christmas Day episode, the Hortons sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", "Deck the Halls", "Silent Night" and "Joy to the World." At the end of the episode, the rest of the cast featured in the episode (Andrea Barber/Carrie, Jolina Collins/Jasmine, John deLancie/Eugene, Leann Hunley/Anna, Thaao Penghlis/Tony, Arleen Sorkin/Calliope, and Herschel the dog) arrive at the Hortons as the cast wishes everyone a Merry Christmas. Macdonald Carey and Frances Reid address the audience directly, and look straight into the camera as they say "Merry Christmas, to each and every one of you."

1985:
Liz plays the piano and sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", "Jingle Bells", and "I'll Be Home for Christmas"...The cast sings "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Joy to the World."

1986: The only "unnamed" ornament ever appears on the tree. Alice gives Bo and Hope an ornament which says "Baby." It's for the yet-to-be-born (and yet-to-be-named) Shawn Douglas...The cast sings "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

1987: The cast sings "Joy to the World"...The Bradys sing "Silent Night"...Justin sings to Adrienne.

1988: The cast sings "Joy to the World"...The Bradys sing "Silent Night."  

1989: Emilio sings "Jingle Bell Rock" to the kids at the hospital...An instrumental version of "Silent Night" plays as many Salemites are featured in the final act.

1990: Mickey, Maggie, Julie, Jennifer, Sarah and Melissa present a very special version of Tom and Alice's song "Always"...The Bradys sing "Silent Night"..."Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" plays over the final act as various Salemites are seen.

1991: The Bradys sing all 3 verses of "Silent Night"...Charlayne Woodard (as Desiree McCall) sings a wonderful a capella version of "O Holy Night"...Alice and Tom end the show by wishing each other Merry Christmas.

1992: The Bradys sing "Silent Night"...Jack quips to his mother, Jo: "Apparently if you get your name on a ball, you're in for life"...Joy Garrett (as Jo) hangs Abigail's new ornament (she dies 7 weeks after the episode aired)

1993: The Bradys sing "Joy to the World"...Lisa Rinna (as Billie) sings a chilling version of "Oh Holy Night" at St. Luke's (just as a kidnapped baby Belle is reunited with mom Marlena)...Tom and Alice read the Christmas story together to the hospital kids (Macdonald Carey dies less than 3 months later)...for the only time ever, a "Merry Christmas from Days of Lives" tag airs just after the episode ends

1994: Alice states that "All the people who keep Tom Horton in their hearts are Hortons."...The Bradys sing "Silent Night" at St. Luke's...this episode features the most unusual Christmas episode ending ever: a shot of a possessed Marlena floating above her bed

1995: Alice's only Christmas episode ever missed...The kids in Aremid sing "Away in a Manger"...The 3 verses of "Silent Night" are beautifully split between the three groups: The Bradys sing the first verse; the Hortons sing the second verse; and the kids in Aremid sing the third verse.
 
1996: The cast sings "Silent Night" a capella, with the scene ending on Frances Reid's face...The Bradys sing "Joy to the World" at St. Luke's, and it blends right into The Hortons singing "O Come All Ye Faithful", with Alice flashing back to her memories of Tom from Christmas 1991...The episode ends on a picture of Tom and Alice from Christmas 1991 and the words "Merry Christmas Mac, We Still Miss You" appear on the screen.
 
1997: A various portion of the cast sings "Oh Holy Night" at Salem Place in mid-December...The Bradys sing "Joy to the World."
 
1998: An instrumental version of "Silent Night" plays over various scenes of Salemites.

1999: Chloe sings "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night" to awaken Nancy in her hospital bed...The Bradys sing "Hark the Herald Angel Sing"...As mentioned above, an ornament for Carrie is seen on the tree (this is the only time someone not related to a Horton by marriage is seen with an ornament).

2000: Alice sees Tom's ghost through the use of flashbacks of Tom being edited into the show.

2001: A very special out-of-character episode, the first ever in "Days" history...Airing just several months after the 9/11 attacks, this episode looks back over "Days" of Christmas past with many flashbacks being shown, and the actors (as themselves) speaking directly to the camera...special 9/11 ornaments are seen on the tree along with the Horton family ornaments...in the final act, the actors turn back into their characters and Chloe and Brady are seen singing the full version of "Silent Night."

2002: "The Christmas Song" is played during the final act.

2003: The Brady/Chloe "Silent Night" duet is featured in the final act as various Salemites are seen.

2004: In a comedic scene, Bonnie's ornament is so huge it topples the tree...baby Jack Patrick gets his first ornament (by next year, his ornament has been changed to Jack Jr. as Patrick was phased out of Jennifer's storyline by then)...The Bradys sing the first verse of "O Come All Ye Faithful" at St. Luke's, blending right into the Hortons singing the next verse at the hospital...the episode ends with Alice alone and she speaks directly to the camera.

2005: The episode ends with a repeat of 2004's final scene, where Alice speaks directly to the camera. An unsual occurence, since Frances Reid did appear in new scenes during this episode.

2006: Clay Aiken sings "Everything I Have" as various Salemites are shown. Mickey's absence is explained with him delivering donations to shelters. Alice speaks directly to the camera as Clay Aiken's song ends.
 
2007: The ornament hanging is intercut with scenes of Max reading the Christmas story at the hospital (where Nick is playing an elf)...Jeremy Horton's ornament is broken...Bill Hayes (Doug) leads a sing-along of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" as other Salemites are shown...the episode ends with Stefano and Rolf injecting a needle into a mysterious patient (who would turn out to be John).

2008: Chloe's ornament breaks. As Doug plays the piano, Chloe sings "Silent Night."  

2009: Alice and Mickey are said to be in the kitchen...the ornaments are hung in one brief instrumental scene..."Silent Night" is sung at the hospital...As Nathan reads the Christmas story, Maggie has a flashback of Tom reading the story.

2010: At St. Luke's Church, the gang sings "Silent Night"...the episode ends with an instrumental version of "Silent Night" playing as Julie hangs Alice's ornament next to Tom's...then, there is a shot of Alice's empty chair and her picture as the show fades to black.