Christmas Symbols: Christmas Isn't Christmas Without These...

Celebrate the Joy of Christmas

Source

Christmas Isn't Christmas--Children's Choir

© All Rights Reserved

Christmas is a joyous occasion, that’s for sure. Hosts of angels filled the midnight sky with happy announcement of the birth of Christ two thousand years ago. Stately eastern kings transversed distances to bring gifts to the Majesty. That single birth has sprouted many Christmas traditions today—gift-giving, carol singing, midnight worship, Christmas trees and twinkling lights to celebrate the occasion. Food, songs, activities grew around the Christmas theme. Different regions develop their own brand of celebrations and they have been around for a long time.

What makes Christmas special for you? What puts you in the mood for the festive season? For some, it’s driving down the street with houses dressed in Christmas lights. For others, schlepping home a Christmas tree signals the beginning of the season. Yet others usher in the season with holiday cookies, scented candles or egg nog. Some families observe the advent story of Jesus, counting the days down to the actual day with stories of His birth. Others believe in filling up the space under the Christmas trees with gifts. For me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without the following…

Jesus, the Reason for the Season

For some people, Christmas has too much of a religious feel. There shouldn’t be a religious emphasis…they reason. For me, Christmas is linked to the historical birth of baby Jesus. That was the reason behind the Christmas season and will always be. That one magical night, when Christ was born to redeem lost sinners is pivotal for me. I welcome anything that celebrates that fact. When my kids were little, we would do the advent stories, anxiously counting the days till Christmas.

Christmas Carols and Songs

Whether it’s “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” or “I’ll be home for Christmas,” Christmas music sets the mood for the festive season. Once a year, Christmas music invades the mall, the radio and the home and I can’t get enough of that. What would Christmas shopping be like without the cheer of Christmas songs in the background? I can't imagine that....but I can imagine how Christmas music will enhance any Christmas activity from decorating the trees to baking cookies-- it instantly acts a magical dimension to it. Christmas music also has a way of building up the excitement to Christmas Day. Can't wait!

Noble Fir

Noble Fir brings the fresh smell of pine into the house.
Noble Fir brings the fresh smell of pine into the house. | Source

Christmas Tree

Unless you’re a Grinch, the chances are you’ll have a Christmas tree all decked out for Christmas. Some people prefer the fresh pine scent of a real Christmas tree, others prefer an artificial tree. Whatever the preference, Christmas trees are usually adorned with lights and ornaments to lend a festive air. The tradition of dressing trees started in Germany (some say it originated in Egypt) and soon caught on. Angels or stars are normally used to top the tree. Both ornaments have significance and they tie in with the birth of Jesus—the Star that shone that Bethlehem night and the angels who made the long-awaited announcment of salvation. Of course, the tree also provides a venue to place the presents—another tradition of Christmas.

Poinsettias

The festive colors are all in the leaves. A pot in the house will instantly kicks up the Christmas atmosphere.
The festive colors are all in the leaves. A pot in the house will instantly kicks up the Christmas atmosphere. | Source

Poinsettias

Poinsettias are must-haves at my house, come December. With its bold green and red leaves (even though they’re often mistaken for flower), it bears the emblem of Christmas colors and add a festive air to the house. Although, poinsettias originated in Central America and were first introduced to America by Dr. Joel Poinsett (hence the name), it is now grown in all 50 states in America. Any grocery stores or nursery will carry poinsettias and the price is based on how big the plant is. Poinsettias can also come in pink and a refreshing light yellow or green.

Christmas cactus about to bloom.

Source

Christmas Cactus

You know it’s Christmas when the delicate flowers on the Christmas cactus start coming in. They’re rich in hues, ranging from magenta to fuchsia. It is also called orchid cactus and they originated in Latin America rain forests. How did this tropical cactus become part of the Christmas symbols? In parts of the world, where it is difficult to find winter evergreens like pine or fir trees, Christmas cactus is used instead. With time, we include the Christmas cactus as one of the festive plants to have around the house during Christmas.

Candles

Source

Candles

I like candles any time of the year, but especially during Christmas. The soft glow of candles with its warmth radiates joy and cheer—like a light on a cold dark night, it’s a welcoming sight. Candles are often used in many religious ceremonies and lighting candles during Christmas is synonymous to the triumph of good over evil and it points directly to baby Jesus, born to be the Light of the world.

Apart from the light and glow aspect of using candles during Yuletide, candles can also import fragrances that evoke the smells of Christmas—cinnamon, sugar cookies, Balsam fir and more.

Source

Presents

Three wise men came to worship baby Jesus bearing gifts—gold, frankincence and myrhh. That may be reason why gift-giving is part of the Christmas tradition. At the heart of gift-giving is sharing joy, goodwill and cheer. Whether you’re the receiver or the gifter, Christmas is a great time to show some love to friends and family. The joy on the child’s face, the trill of delight, the embrace of thanks—just the reason to give.

Nutcracker

The nutcracker tradition is relatively new and is catching on nicely. During the month of December, many performing arts centers and theatres feature the Nutcracker ballet. In fact, it’s the most widely performed ballet in the world. They are as popular here in the United States as in Australia, Asia, Europe and Russia, the birthplace of the ballet. It sets the mood for the Christmas season and many families look forward to watching the Nutcracker as a yearly event..

The ballet version is an adaptation of the E.T.A Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the King Mouse.” When it initially premiered 1892 under the direction of Peter (Pyotr) Tchaikokvsky, it was not well received. It would have died a natural death if not for George Balachine, another master choreographer who produce his own version with the New York City Ballet in 1954. It became an instant hit and gradually caught on as a Christmas tradition. You can commonly find nutcracker ornaments or nutcracker dolls on sale at Christmas.

For my family, the Nutcracker takes on more meaning as my daughter has been performing in the Nutcracker for the past five years with the Southern California Youth Ballet.

Of course, this list is by no means complete. If you come to my house, you'll see all the above but it may be different for you. What makes Christmas for you?


What symbols do you hold dear for Christmas?

  • Advent Wreath
  • Santa Claus
  • Christmas Stocking
  • Yule Logs
  • Nativity scene
  • Mistletoe
  • Holly
  • Candy Canes
  • Christmas Cards
  • Luminaries
  • Wassail
  • You miss mine:((
See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 26 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Primarily, Christmas is a season of beauty for us. The beauty of the One who brought God's grace into the world, the beauty of family and traditions that are dear to us, the beauty of the celebration music--it is a beautiful season! Thanks for sharing your love of the symbols of Christmas.


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

I would love to go shopping for a red poinsettia and a Christmas cactus sometime this week. Thanks for the wonderful reminders. We've had the tree and outdoor lights up since Black Friday because we avoid the crowds at the mall. The items you have listed make it Christmas. Voted up!


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Lovely Hub - it put me in a Christmas mood. I must get some Poinsettias flowers when I go shopping this weekend.


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 4 years ago from India

Beautiful pictures and description. I enjoy reading it.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

RTalloni, you couldn't have said it better. You're right on with regards to the beauty that Christmas brings to us. Thank you very much for commenting. Merry Christmas!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Arlene, you're fast--your lights and trees are already up. I just had my tree up and I've yet to fix the lights outside. But my poinsettias and Christmas cactus are already in place and I've been busy making fresh Christmas centerpieces to give away. Thank you for stopping by to comment--always a pleasure to hear from you.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Lady E, good to hear from you. Yes, I already bought my poinsettias. They will instantly dress up your house. Merry Christmas.


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

angin, my husband drives around the neighborhood every Black Friday morning and makes sure he is the first one to put up the Christmas lights. This year, I caught him putting the lights up only a few hours after the Thanksgiving meal. He also decorated our tree. He did it all, so I was just a spectator. I would love to see your Christmas centerpieces. Maybe you can do a Hub how-to on designing them. I'm sure people are thrilled to get a Christmas centerpiece designed by you.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thumb, glad you enjoyed reading it. Merry Christmas to you and your family.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Arlene, haha, can i borrow your husband? He's too funny, putting up lights just hours after the meal. Come to think of it, why the madness around Black Friday--it's definitely more relaxing to put up lights and Christmas decorations. I didn't go anywhere near a store--I don't like crowds and hate standing in line.

Yes, I plan on creating a hub on making fresh centerpieces for under $10. This Friday, I'm doing to bunch of them to raise money for my daughter's nutcracker performance. It will be out this weekend, hopefully, I can find time to do it since I'll be busy mending the auction booth.

For the time being, I do have a couple of flowers hub and one of them was done last year on Christmas centerpieces. Feel free to check it out:

http://hubpages.com/holidays/How-to-Make-Your-Own-...

Once again, thanks for checking back. Just imagine if you were my neighbor. I'll make you a centerpiece in exchange for your husband's love for hanging lights. Merry Christmas.


carcro profile image

carcro 4 years ago from Winnipeg

Great hub Anglnwu, definitely xmas means something different for everyone, so many ways to get in the spirit. You have covered them all in this hub, nicely done and great pics, voted uP!


moiragallaga profile image

moiragallaga 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Anglnwu, beautiful hub about a beautiful season such as Christmas. You are right about Christmas not being what it is without the symbols, traditions and activities that have come to be associated with this festive and meaningful occasion. For us, aside from a number of the symbols you have listed, it would be angels. We could all probably recall how an angel heralded the birth of Christ to a group of shepherds.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Absolutely love this hub, and thrilled that we have all of these Christmas symbols in our house... right down to a Noble Fir for our Christmas tree. It is such a beautiful season, with love and peace to guide us all. Best, Steph


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

This is such a lovely hub. I like all kinds of Christmas decorations but I hate Christmas music! I used to work in a dental office, and they played Christmas songs all day long, every single day in December. It was quite overwhelming, and that's how I became a Christmas music hater. LOL


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi anginwu, the first thing I do in readiness for Christmas is to buy my poinsettia!

I bet your Christmas centrepieces are beautiful, I hope we get to see a hub on them!

Thank you for sharing this wonderful Christmas hub, it was a delight to read, best wishes my friend, MM


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

carco, thanks for your encouraging comments. Good to hear from you and Merry Christmas.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Moira, I hope you don't mind me shortening your name. I think I know you quite well by now to take the liberty, you think? Thanks for the lovely comment. Yes, I believe in angels too--they were the heralds of great joy. I have one up on the top of my tree. Have a wonderful Christmas season.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Stephhicks, good to hear from you. Glad you've all symbols right down to the Noble Fir. Thanks for dropping by to comment and have a wonderful Christmas.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Om, thanks for your comments. Haha about your relationship with Christmas songs. For me, the more I listen, the more I want....more. Have a Merry Christmas, no less.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Movie Master, poinsettias are so festive and I already have mine in place. Yes, I'll be doing a Christmas centerpiece hub soon. I'm doing a batch this weekend for my daughter's nutcracker's auction. Always happy to see you and have a wonderful Christmas.


moiragallaga profile image

moiragallaga 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Anglnwu, you may shorten my name to Moira. May you and your family also have a happy holiday season and a merry Christmas!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thanks, Moira--that's a pretty name. Thanks for checking back and once again, Merry Christmas to you and yours.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Hi Anglnwu, I loved reading your hub, thank you so much for sharing. :) Like you, I love the tie to history and the birth of Jesus being born in Bethlehem long ago. Candles are a special part of Christmas and any time of the year for me, but especially at Christmas. The idea of the good triumphing over evil, and the light for symbol of what good is to be found, etc. So neat.

Music means so much to me also, I can't imagine Christmas without all the the different things that make it special. :) Voted up and all but funny.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

oceansunsets, thank you so much for adding to this hub with your observations. I agree Christmas isn't Christmas without the love of Jesus...as the song goes. Thanks for voting it up and Merry Christmas to you and yours.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada

I love it all, the candles, the caroling, the tree - my Christmas even has room for presents and lights and Santa - but I have to agree with oceansnsunsetes about the true reason for the season! A Merry and Blessed Christmas to your and yours!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Redelf, yes to all you said. Christmas is a joyous occasions and I love this time of the year. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working