“But the angel said to them, generic sovaldi “Do not be afraid; for behold, generic diagnosis I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;” “for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” ‘This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,” ‘Glory to God in the highest.’”
There is so much materialism built into Christmas that the message of Christ is often lost each year. Sadly, the birth of Christ, the Savior of mankind, is often substituted with the coming of Santa, the setting up of the tree, and the giving of gifts. Needless to say the story of Santa can never replace the birth of the Savior, but Santa’s story and the other “worldly” traditions of our present day Christmas are not without spiritual merit or beginnings.
The modern mythical Santa Clause developed from the real person Saint Nicholas. According to tradition, Saint Nicholas was the youngest and one of the kindest bishops in the early church. He started the Christmas tradition of giving presents to deserving children in 300 A.D. in the town of Myra, Turkey. It was his intention to reward well behaved children for their accomplishments Christmas was the perfect time, since it was the yearly celebration of the greatest gift ever given mankind, the gift of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Children loved Saint Nicholas, and the habit of bringing gifts so much that the custom continued and even developed in other countries. The name St. Nicholas later changed to Santy, or Santa Clause. Since it is difficult to escape the worldly impact on Christmas, it is imperative to give your children a spiritual set of glasses through which to view this God sent time.
In order to carry this out, teach your children the meaning of the Christmas symbols and colors.
Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promise long ages ago. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of this promise. The countless shining stars at night, one for each man, now show the burning hope of all mankind.
The Color Red
Teach the children that red is the first color of Christmas. It was first used by the faithful people to remind them of the blood which was shed for all the people by the Savior. Christ gave His life and shed His blood that every man might have God’s gift of eternal life. Red is deep, intense, vivid; it is the greatest color of all. It is the symbol of the gift of God. (I Peter 1:17-19; Revelation 1:5 )
“While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’” “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you;” “for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
The Green Tree
The pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round. This depicts life eternal in heaven. Green is the youthful, hopeful, abundant color of nature. All the needles point heavenward, symbols of man’s returning thoughts toward heaven. The great green tree has been man’s best friend. It has sheltered him, warmed, him, made beauty for him.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.”
Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, the bell should ring for man to return to the fold of God’s arms. The bell further signifies that all are precious in the eyes of the Lord. (John 10:27-28; John 3:16; Psalm 37:7)
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
II Peter 3:9
Teach the children that the candle shows man’s thanks for the star of long ago. Its small light is the mirror of starlight. At first candles were placed on the trees where they were like many glowing stars shining against the dark green. Colored lights are often used today, but should still remind us of the original star that heralded Christ’s birth.
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” “After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
A bow is placed on a present to remind us of the tie we have with God and other believers.
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,” “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,” “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;” “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” “one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
The Candy Cane
Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the staff helps bring back the strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane represents the helping hand we should show at Christmas time. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper. (Psalm 23:4;I Peter 5:2)
“…but through love serve one another.” “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor a yourself.’”
Teach the children the wreath symbolizes God’s eternal love for us all, it never ceases, stops, or ends. It is one continuous round of Godly affection for us all
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“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,” “nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
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Finally, to carry out this Teachable Moment, pick an evening before Christmas to share this symbolism with your children. As you sit down in front of the Christmas tree together, ask your children to point out or gather up the objects they see in your home that are represented above. As you conclude, pray a prayer of great praise, and then give your children a candy cane as a memento of God’s great love for them.