Decorating for Christmas is a huge part of the holidays for Christians. Everywhere you turn you see bright lights, stars, bells, bows, candles, Christmas Trees and more. Whether or not you are Christian, you might be curious about some of symbols behind the holiday which are intended to help remember Jesus. Have fun sharing some of these Fun Facts with your family.
Bells - In churches that have a Bell or Bells, they are often rung to signal the start of the service.
Bows - The wisemen who brought their gifts to honor the birth of Jesus inspired the concept of giving gifts during the holidays; they brought gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh to the newborn baby Jesus. It is said that A ribbon (bow) is tied around a gift to represent how people should all be tied together in bonds of unity and goodwill during the holiday season.
Candles - Christmas lights are thought to remind us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. Candles can also remind us to be lights to others and to find your way to Christ. A candle is also a symbol representing the star of Bethlehem.
Candy Canes - The white portion of this candy symbolizes the purity of the Christmas season. Red stripes are symbolic of the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we may have eternal life. The candy is formed into a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, others believe it is formed in the shape of a shepherd's hook. The red stripe represents blood, Christ's sacrifice, and the white stands for his purity.
Colors of Christmas - Most of the colors and their meanings come from the western/northern European traditions and customs, when Christmas is in the middle of winter and it's dark and cold.
- The color Red is used at Christmas to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross. It's also reflected in the color of holly berries. Red - Red is the color of Holly berries, which is said to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross. Red is also the color of Bishops robes. These would have been worn by St. Nicholas and then also became Santa's uniform!
- Green - Evergreen plants, like Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe has been used for thousands of years to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long dark winter. They also reminded people that spring would come and that winter wouldn't last forever! The color green signifies everlasting light and life. There is also a legend that says that when Jesus was born in the dead of winter, all the trees around the world shook off the snow to reveal new shoots of green.
- Gold - Gold is the color of the Sun and light - both very important in the dark winter. And both red and gold are the colors of fire that you need to keep you warm. Gold was also one of the presents brought to the baby Jesus by one of the wise men and traditionally it's the color used to show the star that the wise men followed.
- White - White is often associated with purity and peace in western cultures. The snow of winter is very white! White paper wafers were also sometimes used to decorate paradise trees. The wafers (Eucharist) represented the bread eaten during Christian Communion or Mass, when Christians remember that Jesus died for them.
Evergreen Trees - Christians use evergreens as a symbol of everlasting life with God. The triangular shape of an Evergreen Tree is believed to be symbolic of the holy trinity.
Mistletoe - Mistletoe was a symbol of love and friendship in Norse Mythology, which is where kissing under the Mistletoe comes from.
Stars - The Christmas star symbolizes the star of Bethlehem, which according to the Biblical story, guided the three kings, or wise men, to the baby Jesus. The star is also symbolic of the shining hope for humanity.
Wreaths- The wreath is a circular, never-ending symbol of eternal love and rebirth. Holly also stands for immortality and cedar for strength. Today, the wreath symbolizes generosity, giving, and the gathering of family.
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