Decorating the Christmas Tree and Christmas villages sets are some of the most enjoyable traditions associated with Christmas. Beginning from the decorating of the tree to taking down of the tree, we keep these special dates in mind: December 23rd (the first day of Christmas), December 24th (Christmas Eve), December 25 (Christmas Day) and January 5th (Twelfth Night).
Meaning of the Decorations
Even though the Christmas tree is generally decorated in red and white, the colors can vary greatly depending on taste and tradition. Each tone and tree ornament is supposed to have an exceptional significance, and tons of individuals select their decorations depending on legends and stories they associate with the holiday. Getting familiar with the symbols is a great method to rediscover the real significance of Christmas, and to know why December 25 is such an important day around the world.
Among Christians, the evergreen tree signifies the eternal life of Christ. Subsequently, the holly began being attached to the tree’s branches, to represent immortality and a sign of the crown of thorns worn by Christ on the cross.
Candles are used on the tree to represent Christ as the light of the world. Although over time the candles were replaced with electric lights, the significance has remained the same. However, in Ireland, candles have a somewhat different story: during the Penal Times, it was prohibited to celebrate Christmas and Catholic priests were expelled from the country, they needed to secretly travel throughout the night in order to celebrate Mass in people’s homes. Individuals who were more eager to sponsor the priests could place candles on their windows sills and leave the doors unlocked, so the priests could arrive, pray together and spend the night at a secure location.
Star on Top
The star placed on top of the tree signifies the come that led the Wise Men to Baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Jewish priests used to put on a blue robe below the ephod, and gold bells were attached to the hems with this robe.
Originally, apples were used for decorating Christmas trees and represented the forbidden fruit, but later the meaning changed into the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Christmas balls are a milder replacement for apples, but their significance is about the same, alongside the Nativity Scene which symbolizes the birth of Jesus Christ.
The candy cane is shaped like a shepherd’s crook, representing the Good Shepherd. In addition, poinsettia flowers and their shape reminds us of the star of Bethlehem. The wreath represents authentic love, which never ceases, whilst the gingerbread man is an indication of God’s creation — that the Gingerbread man doesn’t create himself, it’s created, and also its own normal color reminds us of the color of Earth.