There are many traditions that we partake in during the Christmas season. We may not always know why we include them in our festivities. I have begun making a conscious effort in my home to continue traditions that have the most meaning and are symbolic of my Christian faith. I want to share with you a few of those meaningful traditions.
The use of candles represent the star of Bethlehem or may have been used during Advent to symbolize Jesus as the light of the world.
Candy canes are shaped like a “J” to represent the name of Jesus or the shepherd’s hook. White represents the purity of Christ and red stripes are for his blood that was shed on the cross for our sins.
Chrismons are symbols of Christ. They are typically decorations on Christmas trees in churches. They are meant to remind us that we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday. They usually are either white or gold. Some examples of the chrismon symbols include crosses which symbolize his death on the cross, stars which symbolize the star of Bethlehem, crowns which symbolize that Jesus is King, keys which symbolize that He has given us the keys to the kingdom and we are to share the good news with the world, angels who told the shepherds of Jesus’ birth, or hearts which symbolize that God is love.
The decorations on my Christmas tree contain some of these symbols.
As I am putting out Christmas decorations, I always put my manger scene in a prominent place. It sits on top of a bookcase in my living room where all can see it. It reminds us all to slow down and keep the focus on why we celebrate the season. I began the collection of the nativity figures many years ago when my children were little. My motive was to de-emphasize Santa Claus and emphasize Jesus instead.
Growing up we always had a lighted manger scene in our front yard. The figures were all white. One year we came home to our decorated home and found a white cat sitting beside the manger in wonderment. He blended in perfectly with the rest of the white figures. We always said that he must have come to worship baby Jesus.
Here is a post to serve as a reminder that we only have ………4 1/2 weeks until Thanksgiving and 8 1/2 weeks until Christmas. Yikes! If you are like me, that thought alone is enough to get my heart rate up. My goal is to be a lot less stressed this year. The only way I have found to accomplish this is to plan ahead. Still, I always find that there is not enough time or energy to do it all. My perfectionism especially gets to me this time of year when I want to decorate the house like a magazine cover and find the perfect gift for everyone on my list.
God has been convicting me that if I put Him first, everything will get in proper perspective. Jesus is the reason for the season. If He isn’t the center of everything, all my efforts are in vain. I can still make the decorations pretty by keeping them simple. My guests won’t mind if my house isn’t quite as decorated this year as long as the atmosphere is filled with love. The food will taste just as good if I take some shortcuts, buy some things from the store, order my turkey from Honey Baked Ham or recruit help.
I am open to suggestions on some ways you have found to ease stress during the holidays. Feel free to send me your thoughts.
I am a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister. I am a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I find happiness through caring for my family. They are my greatest gift in life. I also enjoy helping others who the Lord sends along my path. I have had ups and downs but through it all God has shown me that the greatest way to find joy on earth is through blessing others. With any gifts that He has given me, it is truly through giving those gifts away that I am fulfilled.