Christmas Holds Secret Treasures

in its Rich Symbolism.

By Janet M. Crowe

  Christmas means so much more than shopping, sending cards and opening gifts. Unfortunately, the true meaning of the season often gets lost in the hustle and bustle when we should be focusing on the blessing of God's love for us. Christmas offers us the chance to become closer to our loved ones and to our faith. A look at the secret treasures hidden within the symbolism of Christmas can remind us of gifts not wrapped but, instead, placed within our hearts.

   Santa Claus takes center stage over the Nativity scene in many homes. Children eagerly await the arrival of toys and completely forget the birth of a holy babe. When our children were little, we celebrated the anticipation with a different type of Advent calendar. Instead of a countdown of the days to Christmas, we placed a construction paper manger in the spot where the Infant Jesus would later be in our Nativity scene. Our children put a yellow piece of yarn in the manger each time they did something good such as making their beds, saying please or help

ing to set the table. However, they took a piece of yarn out of the manger any time they disobeyed or argued with each other. Being naughty or nice took on a much more heartfelt significance for them.

    In decking the halls, we tried to explain the symbolism behind the pretty decorations. The Advent wreath, with its symbolic evergreen circle, represents the never ending love of Christ. It becomes the Christmas wreath with its bright red bows to decorate doors and windows.

  Garlands of holly with sharp thorns and red berries remind Christians of the suffering for which the Infant Messiah was destined. The holly's thorny leaves represent the crown of thorns to be placed

on Christ's head on Good Friday and the berries symbolize the blood He would shed.

  Beyond holly berries and evergreen wreaths, red and green are the colors of Christmas. In the Catholic Church red symbolizes the blood of Christ.

Green is the color of hope and has always been a sign of life and growth in nature.


Continued next page


Text Box: Reflections
Text Box: In the Year of Our Lord 2011                                            Winter Volume  12.2011
Text Box:  The Good News of St Matthew Catholic Parish



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