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The Symbols of Christmas


      When the first day of December comes around, the air of Christmas is felt almost in every part of the world. It becomes cooler at this time of season for most Asian countries and winter begins in Europe and the Americas. By this time, shopping centers and malls and department stores have brought out their Christmas stuffs to be decorated and sold and everything suddenly comes alive with color, lights and gaiety.  The atmosphere slowly unveils with singing and dancing and bazaars and all because of the Christmas season. Right down from history to the modern generation, the magic of Christmas has never ceased to delight both children and grown-ups alike, rich or poor. The Christmas tradition lives on.


      It is a common tradition that we decorate our homes with a wide variety of Christmas symbols. The undying Christmas Tree which we love to fill with ribbons and many bits and pieces of colorful and shining materials and light it up with dancing lights is for us a symbol of cheerfulness which the season brings. Many fond memories of childhood are found here. Red and Green and Silver and Gold are the more prominent colors at Christmas. Red, Silver and Gold symbolizes royalty and Kingship while Green symbolizes life and hope respectively. That, amidst a broken and cold world, the birth of Christ never ceases to bring hope in our lives and too, a new beginning. Another very popular symbol we hang on our doors or fireplaces or laid on the dining table is the Christmas wreath or widely known among Christians as the Advent wreath, an evergreen which we usually form into a circle denoting God who has no beginning or end. In churches or in some homes as well, four candles are placed around the wreath with one big candle in the middle. The four candles represent hope, love, joy and peace. The middle candle called the Christ candle is lighted on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day. Outside our homes, we light up the Christmas star. It does not matter how big or small. But it brightens up the surroundings. Its memory leads us back to that night when Christ was born. The shepherds nearby and the Three kings were mystified by a bright distant shining star that led them to the manger where Christ was born.


      After most of the decorations are done, looking at all these shows our anticipation for the coming of Christmas. This must be why silver bells came into play. For the ringing of bells announces a coming event or an ongoing event. We are awaiting the birth of Christ, just as we await our own special day each year. And Santa Claus, old, jolly Santa with his bag of presents is a symbol of man reaching out to those in need. The magic of his presence puts a smile on the faces of every child as he is believed to have come to fulfill their Christmas lists.


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