Bells: Bells are used to announce the birth of Jesus. The bells called the people to worship him. The bells were rung to guide lost sheep back to the fold. They signify that all people are precious in the eyes of the Lord.
Candles: The candles are a reminder of how to be a light unto the world. Candles are also a symbol reflecting our thanks to the star of Bethlehem. Candles may also represent the light of God.
Stars: The stars represent the stars of heaven and the star that the wise men followed to see Baby Jesus. The star also represents the hope of mankind.
Candy Canes: The candy cane is in the shape of the shepherd’s crook. The crook was used to help bring the sheep back that had strayed from the fold. The colors of red and white in a spiral symbolize that we are our brother’s keepers.
Stockings: Christmas stockings are believed to come from a legend in which a nobleman foolishly spent his fortune, which left his daughters without dowries. St. Nicholas heard of the girl’s position and went to their home. He threw pouches of gold coins down the chimney where they landed in the stockings that were during by the fireplace.
Santa Clause: Santa Clause began in the 4th Century when Saint Nicholas would spread good will amongst men. He was a generous man that was said to be devoted to children in particular. The legend of the man spread throughout Europe and in Holland his name was transformed into Sinterklass. The way that we see Santa Clause was developed from a poem composed by Clement C. Moore in 1822. He stands for good will on earth, kindness and generosity.
Earth: The symbol of Earth is often used to symbolize peace on earth.
Ribbons: Ribbons and gift bows represent that we will be tied together in the bonds of goodwill forever.
Tree: The Christmas tree is made from an evergreen that symbolizes God’s everlasting love. The lights on the tree represent the stars of heaven. The star on top of the tree represents the star of Bethlehem that the wise men followed to see Baby Jesus. The Christmas tree also represents everlasting life and light. The needles are said to point up towards heaven.
Wreath: The wreath represents God’s undying love for us. It has no beginning and no end.
Poinsettias: Poinsettias were used in the 17th century Christmas celebrations of Mexican Franciscans. The plant was named after the US Ambassador to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett, when he brought the plant to the United States in 1828. A legend associated with the poinsettia says that a young Mexican boy realized that he had no gift for the Christ child at the Nativity scene. He gathered the green branches and spread the leaves in a star-shaped flour. The plant is actually not a flower, but the upper leaves are actually bright red leaves.
Red and Green Colors: The color red symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus. Green is the perfect background for the red. Green represents youth, hope and nature. (Read Red and Green Colors?)
Angels: The angel is a symbol of good and evil spirits in religion.
Frankincense: Frankincense was a gift brought to Baby Jesus by the Magi. Frankincense was the purest incense and produced a white smoke, which was a symbol of prayers and praises to those ascending to heaven.
Madonna and Child: The Madonna and Child represents the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus.
Gifts: Gifts are an act of love symbolizing the act of love that God made when sending us Jesus. Gifts are to remind us that Jesus Christ was a gift to us from God.
Holly: The thorn of the holly represents the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. The berries symbolize the drops of blood that were shed from him wearing the crown. Holly was also used in Northern Europe to drive away evil spirits. It would be brought into their homes to brighten the mood and to refresh the air.
Mistletoe: Mistletoe was used by Druid priests before the birth of Christ in winter celebrations. The plant had no roots, yet it remained green through the winter. The Celtics also believed that mistletoe had healing powers and used it as an antidote for infertility and to ward off evil spirits. They also believed that it was a symbol of peace. The Scandinavians believed the plant was associated with the goddess of love. They believed that those who kissed under the mistletoe would have a promise of luck an happiness in the new year.
Christmas Cards: Christmas cards originated in England and were created by boys practicing their writing skills. They would make cards for their parents with Christmas greetings. The first real Christmas card is credited to Sir Henry Cole in 1843. He was the director of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. He commissioned an artist named John Calcott to draw an illustration that would be used on the card. The card had three panels. The center panel had a family enjoying Christmas festivities and the message said, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” The cards were sent because he was too busy to send individualized messages to his friends.
Xmas: Many people believe that the term “Xmas” is disrespectful. However, the Greek word fro Christ is Xristos. The letter “X” was used as a religious symbol in Greece. Europeans have used Xmas as an abbreviation for Christmas since the 16th century. So even if people try, they cant ever really take Christ out of Christmas!
Pretty interesting huh?! Merry Christmas!
(info taken from Christmas Symbols)