Christmas Symbols

Exmaples of Christmas Symbols 
Christmas Symbols - Important Christmas Symbols include the Christmas Tree Symbols - Holly Symbols - Mistletoe Symbols - Cards Symbols -   Star Symbols - Stocking Symbols - Song Symbols - Carols Symbols - Santa Claus Symbols !

A useful guide to a selection of Christmas symbols. Discover the symbols origin and meaning as well as a selection of interesting facts! Did you know that the Christmas tree is symbolic of Christ as a redeemer of original sin? Or that the baubles on the tree represent the apples which hung from the tree in the Garden of Eden? Holly is a hugely symbolic Christmas symbol, it is symbolic of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus when he was crucified. Its blood red fruit (berries) and its spiked leaves also symbolise the joy and importance of Christmas to Christians all over the world.

Several species of bird are also important Christmas symbols. We all symbolise a turkey as part of the traditional Christmas meal but did you know that the Wren is also an important Christmas symbol? In France and some parts of England, it was a custom that a Wren was hunted and killed at Christms, the bird was then buried in the churchyard, this was symbolic of the end of one year and the beginning of the next!

Small image of the three wise men bearing gifts of Gold, Frankinscence and Myrrh

Christmas Symbols - Meaning
There are hundreds of different symbols that we identify with the Christmas holiday period. Christmas trees, carols and Santa Claus to name just a few! Some other Christmas symbols include: Yule Log, Plum Pudding, Wassailing, the Bells, First footing, the Festivals of the ancients, the Druids, Holly and Ivy, Christmas Stockings, Christmas Tree, Christmastide, Advent Wreath, Advent Calendar, Candles, Lights, Cards, Cookies, Crackers, Gingerbread, Star, Rose, Ornaments, Baubles, tinsel, Reindeer and Elves! Each of the symbols has its own unique meaning and symbolism, some are Christian symbols, others are considered Christmas symbols but in fact have pagan origins. We have included a selection of Christmas symbols on this page as well as the symbols origin and meaning, hope you find the information useful!

Xmas Symbols - Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards were first circulated in England in 1843. In 1843 there were less than a thousand cards printed. The penny post had been introduced in 1840, this made it inexpensive to post Christmas cards. The first Christmas card was mailed in England by W.C. Dobson and posted in the America one year later in 1846. The numbers of cards distributed annually soon increased to tens and hundreds of thousands and there are now millions of Christmas cards sent around the world every year.

The First Christmas Card was designed by Mr. J. C. Horsley, a member of the Royal Academy, The card was designed at the request of Sir Henry Cole and showed a family consisting of three generations (a grandfather and grandmother, father and mother and their children). The verse on the front of the card read "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you."

In 1885 Louis Prang, A printer from Boston, USA introduced Christmas cards from England to America. In one of his Christmas cards he showed a red-suited Santa Claus. The modern day depiction or picture of Santa Claus wearing a red coat became standard in the 1920's.


Picture of a traditional christmas card showing santa claus

Xmas Symbols - Christmas Tree Symbols

  • Many early Pagans believed that the tree was magical and that its roots extended beneath the earth. The Celts believed that trees such as the oak were symbolic of power and a source of sacred wisdom

  • The first Greek temples were originally trees and were later made of trees. In later years, the stone temples were associated with the 'holy tree' and this was reflected in the use of columns in Greek architecture. Several Greek myths tell the story of women and men who are transformed into trees

  • There are two trees mentioned in the Old Testament book of Genesis, these are the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil which grow at the centre of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9)

  • The Prophet Jeremiah condemned as Pagan the ancient practice of cutting down trees, bringing them into the home and decorating them

  • In 1821 the Pennsylvania Dutch are believed to have introduced the Christmas tree to America

  • In 1841 Prince Albert, the German prince who married the English Queen Victoria set up the first Christmas tree at Windsor Castle

  • The Christmas tree was popularised in France when Princess Helene of Mecklenburg brought it to Paris. Small candles were attached to the branches of the Christmas tree providing a magical atmosphere in rich people's own houses

  • The beautiful Christmas tree that appears in Trafalgar Square, London each year has been and annual gift by the city of Oslo each year since 1947. The gift is a token of gratitude for Britain supporting Norway during the Second World War


Image showing a christmas tree complete with a five pointed star at the top

Christmas Symbols - Christmas Star
Stars are also important Christmas Symbols. The three wise men also referred to as 'Magi', kings of the east and three kings were guided by a star to Bethlehem where they brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the new born king, Jesus. All three of the gifts are important Christian symbols of Christmas. Part of the Christmas nativity story which is celebrated by Christians all over the world recreates the journey made by the three wise men to the stable and birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. Nativity plays are held in schools and churches all over the world in December to remind Christians about the birth of Jesus and the importance of Christmas.
The Christmas Star is also known as the 'Star of Bethlehem' or 'Star of David' and is the basis for many Christmas decorations. It is usually depicted as a five pointed star and is often attached to the top of the Christmas Tree.

The story of the Three Wise Men and the Christmas Star can be found in the following biblical passage: Matthew 2, 1-5; 7-15; 19-23

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled. And when he had gathered the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. They said, In Bethlehem of Judea.

Then Herod called the wise men, and inquired of them what time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Search diligently for the child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I may come and worship him also.

The wise men departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it stood over where the child was. They rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

And when they saw the child with Mary his mother, they worshipped him: and they opened their treasures, and presented unto him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."

Xmas Symbols - Nativity
Saint Francis of Assisi was believed to have created the first nativity scene in 1223. His scene was a real or living nativity and this living scene is still recreated all over the world today in schools and churches as nativity plays. The nativity story has even been used as the basis for several successful films!

Many children perform a nativity play and Christian homes and churches also display a nativity scene as part of their Christmas decoration. The nativity scene recreates the place where Jesus was born and should be included in all Christian homes as a way of reminding us of the real meaning of Christmas, not the commercialised festival it has become. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus who was born in a stable in Bethlehem surrounded by sheep and cattle.

Image of the Nativity Scene showing the birthplace of baby Jesus with his parents

Xmas Symbols - Christmas Stocking
The custom of hanging a stocking on the mantelpiece on Christmas Eve is in fact a modern tradition. Christmas stockings are usually brightly colored, often red. They are for small gifts left by Santa Claus. It is tradition in some families that the gifts in the Christmas stockings are from Santa Claus, whilst other gifts left under the Xmas tree are from the family. Other families tell children that all of the gifts are left by Santa.

Xmas Symbols - Santa Claus
The Santa Claus we all know and love today began with a man called Nicholas, who became a saint - Saint Nicholas, the Patron Saint of children. His feast day was called the Feast of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas and is celebrated by the people of Holland on December 6th. On the evening before his feast day (December 5th) Sinterklaas is celebrated by families and friends exchanging gifts with each other. The evening is called "sinterklaasavond" and is particularly for children. In America Sinterklaas evolved into the name 'Santa Claus'.

Christmas Symbols - Xmas Dream Explanation
Many people, particularly young children dream of Christmas as they hope and wish for the 'must have toy' or latest computer game, tablet computer or mobile phone. Dreaming of Christmas however symbolizes family togetherness, reunions, and celebration. It is also representative of new beginnings and fresh starts. Consider also your own associations with this holiday.

Xmas Symbols - Christmas Songs as Symbols
Some of the most popular Christmas carols include the following: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas night, Deck the Halls, Ding Dong Merrily on High, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Come O Come Emmanuel, O Holy Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, On a Christmas morning, Once in Royal David's City, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, I heard the bells on Christmas day, I Saw Three Ships, A Boy Is Born in Bethlehem, Good King Wenceslas and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

Did you know...

  • In the 12th century, St Francis of Assisi introduced Christmas carols to church services

  • The word carols, "carol" is a derivative of the French word caroller, meaning to dance around in a circle

  • The Protestant Oliver Cromwell banned happy Christmas carols or songs in England

  • In the Victorian era, Christmas carols became popular again as they began to include happy and joyful themes in their lyrics

  • Despite the fact that Santa Claus or reindeers have no relation to the real meaning of the Christian Christmas, they became popular choices for Christmas songs and are very popular today

Christmas Symbols

Christmas Symbols

  • Interesting information about Christmas Symbols

  • Meaning of Christmas Symbols

  • Origin and History of Christmas Symbols

  • Facts about iconic Christmas Symbols

  • Pictures and Description of Christmas Symbols

Christmas Symbols - Image of the Wise men following the star of David to Bethlehem


Pictures and Videos of Christmas Symbols
Discover the vast selection of pictures which relate to Christmas Symbols and illustrate the different emblems, symbols and signs that we associate with Xmas. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Signology Index - a great educational resource for everyone! Find out about different Christmas symbols and their significance. In todays busy world, many of the traditional symbols of Christmas have been forgotten, discover the true meaning of Christmas!


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