What do the things we associate with Christmas mean to me? These are all my personal thoughts–they don’t represent the official doctrine of any church.
Christmas Tree: the Evergreen tree never loses it’s leaves (needles). It is always green, reminding us of an undying life in following Christ Jesus. It is also a representation of the Tree of Life (Genesis 2:9; 1 Nephi 11:25). One of my favorite stories about Christmas trees is “Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect”
Star on Christmas Tree: represents the Star of Bethlehem which guided the Wise Men
Candy Canes: there are many stories of how candy canes came to being. I enjoy thinking that they are in the shape of a shepherd’s staff reminding us that Christ is the Good Shepherd leading us to Eternal Life
Red & White: red represents the blood of Christ freely spilt for us; white represents eternal life. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
Gift giving: Jesus gave us the ultimate gift when he atoned for our sins; the wise men came bearing gifts. We emulate his example by giving gifts
Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh: I believe the gold given to the Christ child financed his move to Egypt to protect him from King Herod; the Frankincense is representative of the incense burned in the Temple (which is itself a symbol of our offering to the Lord); I think of the Myrrh as the oil used to anoint the Savior
Shepherds: shepherds abide in their fields during lambing season. Their role was to certify the first born lambs (to be offered for sacrifice). The angels came to the shepherds because it was their job to certify the first born lamb…the Son of God.
Caroling: just as the shepherds heard “a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13-14), we also sing praises to the world.
Ornaments on the tree: these represent the blessings we’ve received, the memories we’ve made. I believe the ball ornaments remind us of eternity (just as wedding rings remind us of eternity)
Santa Claus: there is much debate surrounding Father Christmas. I like to believe that he represents the Savior–freely giving gifts to all
All this leads to the true reason for the season…
the Birth of Jesus Christ!
The Savior of the World born in the flesh!
What Christmas Symbols do you enjoy?