The Acorn has long been considered a symbol of
good luck in Germany where oak trees are considered sacred. The
rebirth of life in the coming of the Christ child is also represented in
the acorn. Bearing a tiny seed that will produce a mighty oak, the
acorn reminds us that great results can be born of humble beginnings.
||The Angel symbolizes God's care for
His people through the presence of His angels. The presence of
angels is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. It is written
in Psalm 91:11, "For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep
thee in all thy ways." (KJV)
||The Apple played an important role in
traditional European Christmas Eve celebrations. Following dinner,
the head of the family would slice an apple crosswise. If there
was the image of a perfect star inside and the seeds were plump, it was
believed that a peaceful year of good fortune and health awaited the
family. Each member of the family then ate a piece of the apple.
||The Bee is a
symbol of industry, resourcefulness and prosperity. These tiny
creatures show us there is success and satisfaction in working together
harmoniously while still enjoying the sweetness of life. British farmers
believed the bees hummed in honor of the Christ child on the first
||A Bird's Nest is
a symbol of the home. It reminds us that we strive to make our
home a place where family members grow and prosper. Considered a
good luck symbol, the bird's nest represents all the love, warmth,
enthusiasm and commitment required in creating the happiest of homes.
Symbolic of resurrection and eternal life, the Butterfly emerging from
its cocoon represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb.
Just as the butterfly comes forth with a new body, those who trust in
Jesus Christ come forth with new life. The butterfly also
represents flight, freedom and creative thinking. A symbol of
spring, the butterfly truly reflects the beauty of nature.
Before electric Christmas lights were invented, Candles adorned the
Christmas tree - sparkling like starlight against the dark green boughs.
The candle reminds us that Christ is the light of the world. Many
European families still decorate their Christmas tree with candles which
are burned on Christmas eve.
||The Candy Cane
begins with a stick of white candy. The white symbolizes the
purity of the Christmas season. The red stripes are for the blood
shed by Jesus Christ on the cross so that we may have eternal life.
The candy cane is formed into a "J" to represent the precious name of
Jesus. The shape can also represent the staff of Jesus, The Good
Shepherd. The candy cane's hard consistency represents Jesus, The
Solid Rock - foundation of the church, and the firmness of the promises
Christened the Christmas bird for its spectacular red color, the
Cardinal has become a symbol of the beauty and warmth of the holiday
season. A glimpse of this brilliant bird brings cheer, hope and
inspiration on a gray, wintry day. As nature’s reminder for us to
focus on our faith, the cardinal’s scarlet plumage represents the blood
of Jesus Christ shed for the redemption of mankind.
||An old legend tells of how a Cat came
with other wild animals to pay homage to the baby Jesus. Overcome
by the glory of the Lord, a trembling sound came from the cat’s throat.
One by one the other creatures fled back to the wild, but the cat could
not bring itself to leave. Since then...the cat has been a
household companion, never forgetting its wild nature, but content in
the comforts of a warm house.
in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Celtic Cross is a symbol of both
faith and ethnic heritage. The circle symbolizes eternity and the
endlessness of God's love for man. Legend says that while
preaching to the lost, St. Patrick was shown a sacred stone marked with
a circle that was symbolic of a moon goddess. He made the mark of
a Latin cross through the circle and blessed the stone, making the first
||The Chili Pepper is a southwestern
American tradition symbolizing warmth and friendship. Clusters of
vibrantly colored chili peppers (called chili ristras) add a zesty flair
to home décor during the holidays. When hung near the door, chili
peppers ensure a bountiful harvest and when placed in the kitchen, they
bring good luck in cooking.
||The hearth is considered the center,
or the heart, of the home. Since a chimney sweep exclusively deals
with the heart of the home, it is good luck for anyone to be touched by
him - especially if he leaves you with a black smidge of soot.
||The letters of the Greek word for
fish, Ichthus (),
are the first letters of the Greek phrase for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son,
Savior.” Accordingly, people use a fish symbol to distinguish
themselves as Christians. Just as fish are born in water,
Christians publicly show their choice to follow Jesus by baptism with
water. Jesus wishes all of us to be “fishers of men.”
More Bell/Bells Charms
|According to early legend, Bells rang
throughout the world announcing the birth of Christ. The ringing
of bells during the joyous holiday season still adds a delightful
accompaniment to favorite carols and is a significant part of the
Christmas celebration. High in their towers, suspended between
heaven and earth, church bells have called the faithful to worship for
||The tradition of
gift-giving seems to have started with the gifts of gold, frankincense
and myrrh the three wise men (the Magi) brought to Baby Jesus recorded
in the Bible.
||A father was
unable to provide his three daughters with a dowry. Hearing of
their misfortune and wishing to help, St. Nicholas dropped three bags of
gold coins down the chimney. The coins fell into each of the
daughters’ stockings, which were hanging by the fire to dry, providing a
sufficient dowry. Since then, stockings hung by the fireplace are
a traditional part of Christmas gift giving.
Because it stays green all through the year, the evergreen tree is
symbolic of the eternal life offered to Christians through faith in
Jesus Christ. The treetop points heavenward. A star
signifies the special star which guided the wise men to Bethlehem.
Lights represent Christ, the “Light of the World.” Gifts beneath
the tree are representative of God’s gift of His only begotten Son, who
brings Hope, Love, Joy and Peace.
|The Christmas Wreath has decorated
many front doors with fresh greenery. Wreaths are often made of
evergreens. Because they are green and bear fruit in the winter
when other plants appear lifeless and bare, evergreens signify God’s
immortality and everlasting life. The wreath’s circular shape
reminds us of the circles of life, family and love.
Regarded in some cultures as a symbol of status and bartered as
currency, Cows have been invaluable to humans over the years. Its
production of milk also makes the cow a symbol of gentle nourishment,
motherhood, and prosperity. Cows have come to represent our
connection to the land and are a sign of the bounty with which we are
||To Christians, the Cross symbolizes
faith and salvation. Christians were granted the gift of eternal
life in Heaven when Jesus Christ was crucified on the Cross for the sins
of mankind. While Christ suffered pain and death on the Cross,
this divine and humbling symbol helps us to be mindful of our beliefs
and duties as Christians. Faith in the Cross of Christ helps us
cope with the burden of the crosses we bear.
Because of their intelligence and playful ways, Dolphins are one of
earth's most fascinating creatures. Romans, Greek and Celtic
stories feature their amazing ability to communicate with each other and
tell miraculous tales of dolphins rescuing drowning humans.
Because of this friendliness to man, dolphins represent the peace,
harmony and tranquility that can be achieved in life.
||Legend says the Donkey that carried
Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday followed Him to
Calvary. Appalled by the sight of Jesus on the cross, the donkey
turned away but could not leave. It is said that the shadow of the
cross fell upon the shoulders and back of the donkey. A cross
marking is found on many donkeys today and remains a testimony of the
love and devotion of one humble little donkey toward his Creator.
||A universal symbol of peace and love,
the dove has long held significance for man. Noah sent forth from
the ark a dove that returned with an olive branch, indicating the end of
the flood and the beginning of God’s new covenant with man. The
dove also symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The dove also signifies
marriage and lifelong love. The pristine whiteness of the dove
represents purity, hope for peace and the forgiveness we obtain from
Drummer Boy Charms
||Come, they told him, to see the
newborn King. The Little Drummer Boy had no gift to bring, so he
played his drum for the holy child. The Christ child smiled at the
simple gift, reminding us that the best gifts come from the heart.
phrase, “an elephant never forgets,” refers to the animal’s alleged
intelligence, memory and longevity. The peaceful elephant is also
a symbol of gentle and reposing strength. The social nature of
elephants allows us to view their amazing sensitivity to their group and
family members, helping each other when hurt and protecting the newborn.
Elephants even mourn the loss of their loved ones.
||The Heart has been a symbol of love
for many centuries. Throughout pre-Christian and early Christian eras,
the Heart was believed to be the center of emotion. During the
Baroque ear, the Heart was recognized as a sign of sincerity and
||Legend has it that the bright red and
green of Holly make it a natural symbol of rebirth. There are
several legends regarding holly. According to one of these
legends, holly branches were woven into Christ's crown of thorns - the
once white berries were stained red by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Holly has also come to stand for peace and joy.
||The Lighthouse is a source of
inspiration. It is a reminder of the light keeper's legacy of
courage and self-sacrifice for the welfare of others. The
lighthouse also serves as a symbol of Jesus Christ, the light of the
||Mistletoe was for many centuries a
symbol of healing and divine love. In Scandinavia, mistletoe was
considered a plant of peace. When hung in a doorway or from the
ceiling it became a sign of goodwill and harmony. The current
custom of kissing beneath the mistletoe is based on Scandinavian
Mushrooms are considered to be a good luck symbol. Associated with
nature and the beauty of the forest, finding a mushroom is considered to
be very lucky and to mean good fortune is at hand. Mushroom
ornaments are displayed on Christmas trees in Germany in honor of a
reverence for nature and hope for good luck in the New Year.
||The true meaning of Christmas!
"Behold, a virgin shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name
Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Matthew 1:23
Throughout history, wise Owls have been credited with providing
forewarning and good counsel. The owl’s thoughtful and solemn
appearance has generated their association with wisdom and virtue.
Comparisons have been made between the owl’s visual ability to pierce
the darkness and the light of Jesus Christ dissolving the darkness of
||The Peanut is a
symbol of the mystery and anticipation of the Christmas season.
Just as a peanut's shell is opened to discover a hidden nut inside, the
Christmas season unfolds with its many wonderful surprises. In
years past, family members would gather and make handmade decorations
for the tree - peanuts wrapped in gold and silver foil were used as
Christmas tree ornaments.
||Legend has it the Pickle brings good
luck and was the last ornament placed on the Christmas tree. On
Christmas morning, the first child to find the gherkin was rewarded with
an extra little gift left by St. Nicholas. This tradition
encouraged the children to appreciate all the ornaments on the tree,
rather than hurrying to see what St. Nick had left for them.
||According to German tradition,
partaking of a roast pork dinner on Christmas Eve will prevent evil and
promote prosperity in the new year. Germans have a saying, “wir
haben Schwein” which means “we have good luck”. Pigs are
considered to be symbols of good fortune, thrift, and savings.
Children are traditionally given piggy banks to encourage them to save.
||The Pineapple is
a traditional American symbol of hospitality. During Colonial
times, sea captains arriving home brought back the tropical fruit from
exotic locations - as a sign of their safe return and to welcome guests,
they placed a pineapple on their gate or door. In time, people
began to carve pineapple designs into their doorways and gateposts.
Today, pineapples are still given as a symbol of welcome or friendship.
Pinecones symbolize eternity. Because of their abundance in the
forest, they were often used as natural Christmas decorations.
Mexican legend tells of a boy who had no gift to put by the figure of
baby Jesus in Church on Christmas Eve. On his way to church, he
heard an angel tell him to pluck some dried weeds for his gift. As
he laid them beside the other gifts, the weeds turned into beautiful
flowers. Dr. Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico,
brought the plant to the United States where it was named “poinsettia”.
Resembling a giant gate or bridge, the rainbow has been called by some
the "Gateway to Heaven." The Old Testament tells how God placed a
rainbow in the sky following the great flood as a promise that He would
never destroy the earth by flood again...therefore, the rainbow has
become a symbol of reconciliation between God and man.
||Legend says the night Christ was born,
a little brown bird shared the stable with the Holy Family. During
the night Joseph built a fire to keep the family warm, but as they slept
the fire burned out. From its nest, the bird flew down and fanned
the embers with its wings. The bird was very close to the fire and
the heat turned the bird’s feathers red. The breast of the Robin
has been red ever since to remind us of its love and compassion for baby
||Legend states the only time the
rooster crowed at midnight was the night Jesus was born. In
Spanish and Latin American countries “Misa del Gallo,” the Mass of the
Rooster, is celebrated at midnight on Christmas Eve. The crowning
of the rooster at the dawn of each morning symbolizes the daily triumph
of light over darkness and the victory of good over evil.
||Legend has it that Rose ornaments on a
Christmas tree are symbolic of beauty and are believed to be an
expression of affection and love. Legend tells us that a lowly
shepherdess knelt at the manger, weeping because she had no gift to
offer the newborn King. As her tears fell to earth, a rosebush
sprang into bloom. She picked a bouquet of roses and offered them
to baby Jesus as her gift of love.
Saint Nicolas/Santa Claus
||The concept of
the American Santa Claus originated with St. Nicholas, who was born in
Asia Minor in 280 A.D. He was known as a kind, benevolent man;
indeed made a saint because of his generosity. In honor of St.
Nicholas, December 6 became the traditional day in Europe for the
exchange of Christmas gifts and the beginning of the holiday season.
Dutch immigrants to the United States brought with them their version of
the gift-giving St. Nicholas, known as Sinter Klass. Americans,
unaccustomed to the Dutch pronunciation, turned this into “Santa Claus”,
who is beloved as a symbol of Christmas by children of all ages.
Sand Dollar Charms
||The markings on the shell of the Sand
Dollar symbolize the Birth, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ.
On the top side of the shell, an outline of the Easter Lily appears.
At the center of the lily is a five pointed star representing the Star
of Bethlehem. The five narrow openings symbolize the four nail
holes and the spear wound made in the body of Jesus Christ during the
Crucifixion. Turn a sand dollar over - you can see the outline of
the Christmas Poinsettia and also a bell. When broken, inside the
shell are five “doves of peace” - some say they are the angels that sang
to shepherds on the first Christmas morning.
Click Here For
|Each Christmas season we hear the
stories of the eight tiny flying reindeer that pull Santa's sleigh all
over the world in one night - the source of this legend is probably from
Clement Clarke Moore's early 19th century poem "'Twas the Night Before
Reindeer are sturdy, short-legged animals. They have a brownish
coat that is dark in the summer and light in winter; the long hairs
under the neck, the fur just above the hoofs, and the region about the
tail are almost white. They have large spreading hoofs that enable
them to travel on snow-covered areas. They have been trained to
wear harnesses because of their strength, speed, and endurance in
pulling sleds over snow.
Perhaps most significantly, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" created in
1939 by Montgomery Ward department store in Chicago, set to music and
recorded in 1949 by Gene Autry. Rudolph then became an annual
television star and a familiar Christmas image.
||The seashell (or carocol) played an
important part in early Mexico's religious symbolism. The seashell
symbolized birth and life, thus coming to symbolize Christian rebirth.
children have gleefully awaited the winter’s first snowfall.
Rolling large balls of that fluffy gift from heaven, they delight in
making their own special companion. Completed with a carrot for a
nose, coal for the eyes and mouth, and sticks for arms, the snowman
truly does come to life for the children who create their frosty friend.
||Legend has it that a poor woman was
unable to provide traditional decorations for the Christmas holiday.
A Spider, who had narrowly escaped the dust mop, made his home in her
tree and began to spin beautiful webs. On Christmas morning, the
first light of sun struck the cobwebs, turning them to silver.
When the woman awoke, she found the tree covered with the silver
treasure - the spider had brought good fortune!
||The Star symbolizes the great light
that led the wise men to the Christ child so many years ago.
Throughout much of the world, the Christian holiday begins with the
appearance of the first star on Christmas Eve. The star also
symbolizes hope for peace and good fortune.
||At one time, the
Sunflower was considered to be a symbol of adoration, possibly because
it follows the path of the sun as it travels across the sky. The
yellow petals of the sunflower imitate the sun's rays and the
heart-shaped leaves on the strong stalk help to absorb the sun's light.
The sunflower is the perfect example for us to follow the Son of Man and
to grow in His love and presence.
Unicorn has long been a source of enchantment. Solitary, swift and
graceful - the unicorn had a single spiraling horn growing from its
forehead. According to legend, the unicorn disregarded Noah's call
to board the ark - preferring to frolic in the rains of the flood.
Ever since, unicorns have only existed in our imagination.
tradition originating in Europe, a Yule log warmed the house during the
cold Christmas night. It was ceremoniously brought to the
fireplace and lit with the remnants of the log from the previous year to
erase trouble from the past and bring good fortune and protection from
fire. Today, the Yule log takes the form of a traditional French
cake shaped like a log - a perfect finish to a Christmas feast.