Friday, December 9, 2011

...With Symbols of Christmas

I love the Christmas season and its many traditions. There was one tradition my family has always done that has always stuck in my memory and is still my favorite part of the holidays: reading "Teach the Children." It's not one of the most well known story, but it will always be my favorite Christmas story.

To summarize, the story is about Santa Claus, sad and disappointed, pleading with the narrator to teach children what all the symbols of Christmas mean. He explains the following symbols:

1. The Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen, with its unchanging color, represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that mankind's thoughts should turn heavenward as well.

2. The star. The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises, and that wise men still seek Him.

3. The color red. Red is the first color of Christmas. Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life-giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God's greatest gift. Christ gave his life and shed his blood for all that they might have eternal life. When we see the color red, it should remind us of that most wonderful gift.

4. The bell. Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Follow the true Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep.

5. The lights. The glow of the candle represents how people can show their thanks for the gift of God's son that Christmas Eve long ago. Follow in Christ's footsteps; go about doing good.
Let your light shine before people that all may see it and glorify God. This is what's symbolized when the twinkle lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright shining lights, each of them representing one of God's precious children's light shining for all to see.

6. The candy cane. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the church, and the firmness of God's promises. The candy cane form's a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth. It also represents the Good Shepherd's crook, which He uses to reach down into all ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray. The red stripes are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the promise of eternal life.

7. The red bow. The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection, which is love.  The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ's sacrifice.

8. The wreath. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those
with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen. Even its very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ's love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end.

9.  The holly leaf. The holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by the savior. The red holly symbolizes the blood shed by him.

10.  Santa Clause. Santa represents the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving.

11. Gifts. The wise men bowed before the Christ child and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We should always give gifts in the same spirit of the wise men.

12. The angels. It was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."

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