12 Symbols of Christmas and Their Meaning

12 days of Christmas Gift ideaas for husbands

Have you ever wondered about the 12 symbols of Christmas and their meaning?

So have you ever given thought to candy canes and how they became a staple for the holiday season? While these holiday decorations may seem random, most of these Christmas decorations have special meanings.

Why Are These Symbols For Christmas Important To Learn?

Learning about the 12 symbols of Christmas can deepen our understanding and appreciation of the history and significance of Christmas. Understanding the origins and meanings of these symbols can also help us connect with the religious and cultural traditions associated with Christmas.

In addition, these symbols have become an important part of the modern-day celebrations of Christmas, and knowing their meaning and significance can enhance our enjoyment of the holiday season. For example, understanding the significance of the Christmas tree, candy canes or the use of candles during Christmas can add a layer of depth to our decorating and celebration traditions.

Overall, learning about the 12 symbols of Christmas can enrich our knowledge and understanding of the holiday, and help us connect with the deeper spiritual and cultural meanings behind this joyous season.

Christmas Traditions

Some Christmas Traditions Growing Up

Growing up the true meaning of Christmas was always a priority. Yes, of course, we enjoyed decorating the Christmas tree with bright lights, and all our holiday decorations while listening to Christmas music. Favorites included Andy Williams singing Do You Hear What I Hear, the Chipmunks album, jingle bells, and silver bells.

Also, a Christmas wreath hanging on the front door for this winter holiday. We had bells also hanging in different areas of our home with strands of candy canes on doorways. Now I’m sure I’m giving away my age

We had Christmas traditions with our extended Italian family. I have memories of baking with my mom from a young age. My job was rolling the small balls of dough to make Struffoli for Christmas Day. It always amazed me how the small batch of dough took forever to roll into tiny balls as my mom fried them. I still see honey being poured on and dripping down. These memories are a precious gift I will treasure forever.

What Mom Wanted Us To Learn About the Holiday

Mom Wanted Us To Learn the Meaning Forn The Christmas Holiday

Our mom wanted us to know the true spirit of Christmas was more than about gifts we received on Christmas morning from Santa Claus, and making Christmas cookies. I remember the old metal cookie cutters for making homemade sugar cookies for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer.

I still have a vivid memory of saying Mommy, today we should sing happy birthday to baby Jesus because he was born today. My brothers were 6 years older than me and wondered why my mom would do this. But my mom was one of a kind and did anything to make her children happy and smile. I believe it touched her heart to have a five-year-old child make this part of our morning Christmas celebrations for many years.

So now let’s look at some of the symbolic meanings of Christmas

What Is the Meaning Of This Common Christmas Tree Topper

The Meaning Of A Common Evergreen Tree Topper

Symbol 1: The Christmas Tree Star

For the most part, the symbol of a star on top of the tree is one of the most recognizable symbols of Christmas time. It’s also important to remember the Christmas star appeared in the sky the night Jesus Christ was born. The star of Bethlehem, also guided the three wise men, to baby Jesus.


Today stars on the top of the Christmas tree are one of the biggest pieces used to celebrate the season.

You may have fun making one of these for your holiday home and if you don’t want to make any buy them instead.

The Meaning Of Candles For The Christmas Season

Meaning Of Candles For The Christmas Season

Symbol 2: Candles For Christmas

For this Christmas symbol, early Christians lit a candle to represent the star of Bethlehem and Christ’s birth which is the true reason we celebrate Christmas.

Before electricity families used candles to light the Christmas tree. As an example, we do this on our tree using battery-operated candles with our Christmas lights.

In fact, my husband is Irish and they believed in the tradition of a candle lit every Christmas Eve until morning to represent the birth of Jesus.


The Significance Of The Bow On Presents

The Significance Of The Bow On Presents

Symbol 3: Bows For Christmas

The 12 days after Christmas Day, the three wise men brought gifts in honor of the birth of Jesus inspiring the concept of giving gifts during the holiday. According to the Bible’s New Testament, Melchior, Balthazar, and Gaspar brought gifts of myrrh, gifts of gold, and incense.

A bow on a gift has special meaning and symbolizes unity and how are all tied together in goodwill toward our fellow man for life.

Symbol 4: Red And Green for Christmas

The colors red and green are the most recognized colors of traditional decorations. However, it’s believed by Christians the color red represents the blood of Jesus the color of red berries. This is also the belief with the red poinsettias.

It’s also believed that green represents everlasting life. The green in evergreen trees, holly, and mistletoe are used at Christmastime to represent Christ’s life. In pagan times, they were a powerful reminder of the winter solstice. This also is a reminder that nature keeps growing, even through the Christmas season.


Also, wreaths, are made of evergreen branches, like pine and holly because these branches symbolize eternal life. Because they stay the color green throughout the coldest months of the winter season.

Christmas Wreaths Symbolize Life

What do Wreaths Symbolize?

Symbol 5: Christmas Wreath

Generally, the circular shape and the evergreen of the wreath are a representation of eternal life. It is also a representation of faith, as Christians in Europe often placed a candle on the wreath during Advent to symbolize the light that Jesus brought into the world.

Today these are also traditional Christmas symbols.


What Do Bells Symbolize For The Holiday Season?

Bells Are Special For Christmas

Symbol 6: Bells For Christmas

Christmas bells ring to celebrate Christ’s birth.

Ordinarily, bells ring during Christmas to proclaim the arrival of the season and to announce the birth of Jesus. The ringing traces back to pagan winter celebrations to drive out evil spirits.

As an example of bells, the church not far from us rings its bells every day and I must admit it gives me a soothing reminder and feeling every time I hear them ring.


You may enjoy making this easy idea for your home!

The Meaning Of Candy Canes Christmas Holiday

A Candy Can Symbolizes What For This Holiday?

Symbol 7: Candy Canes For Christmas

Have you ever wondered about the meaning of this peppermint candy? The candy’s hook shape represents the shepherd’s crook the red stripe represents blood and the white stripes represent the good shepherd who was the first to worship the newborn.

Another reason these candies are an important and meaningful representation of this holy day is something many do not realize, flip the candy can upside down. What do you see? You see the letter J, interesting, right? He is considered our “Rock” so the candy maker chose hard candy for this special purpose. It was done to remind children that Jesus was our “rock,” and got us through a tough time, he’s dependable and strong.


The Symbol of Mistletoe and Winter During Christmas

What’s Mistletoe Symbolizing for Winter?

Symbol 8: Mistletoe For Christmas

Mistletoe represents romance, fertility, and vitality during Christmas. This is also a parasitic plant.

Also, the Celtic Druids valued mistletoe for its healing properties and likely were among the first to decorate with it for Christmas. Because mistletoe could bloom during the frozen winter, the Druids came to view it as a sacred symbol of vivacity, and they administered it to humans and animals alike in the hope of restoring fertility.


The Almanac says: A young lady caught under the mistletoe could not refuse to give a kiss. This increases her chances of marriage since a girl who wasn’t kissed could still be single next Christmas. According to ancient custom, one berry is removed after each kiss until they are gone.

What’s the Story Behind Tinsel for the Holiday

What Tinsel Symbolizes and Why We Use It

Symbol 9: Tinsel for Christmas

Tinsel is added to Christmas trees to enhance the flickering candles on the tree. It also represented the starry sky over a Nativity scene.

Meaning of a Hanging Stocking for Santa

Stocking hanging for Santa and the Holidays

Symbol 10: Stockings For Christmas

The Christmas stocking is generally an empty sock or sock-shaped bag, or in a bright red color, or a green color with a white fur trim, and hangs on Christmas Eve. These also hang so that St. Nicholas or the related figures of Santa Claus and Father Christmas fill these with small size toys, candy, fruit, gold coins, or other small gifts when he arrives.

By the way, have you ever wondered how that tradition began? The legend behind the origin of Christmas stockings features Nicholas of Myra, a 4th century Bishop known as Saint Nicholas, and he’s believed to be the inspiration behind Santa Claus.


These are easy to make and fun for the entire family and these are so easy too!

The Meaning of the Poinsettia and its Special Meaning

What is the Meaning of a Poinsettia and its Special Meaning?

Symbol 11: Poinsettias for Christmas

Did you realize Poinsettia is the 11th symbol of the Christmas season? This flower represents shining hope, good luck, and purity.

Angels Above Have Important And Interesting Meanings For The Christmas Season

Angels Have Important And Interesting Meaning For The Christmas Season

Symbol 12: Angels And Their Meaning For Christmas

Angels, for example, came from the original Christmas story. Also, angels played a significant part in the first Christmas. The legend says angels visited Joseph and the Virgin Mary regarding the birth of the Christ child. On the night of Christ’s birth angels appeared in the sky over Bethlehem to announce the arrival of our heavenly father to the world.

As an example, many of us including myself truly believe there are angels watching over us, especially during rough moments in our lives when we are ill or need something to hold onto to help give us strength.

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Mom’s Courage and Strength

Mom’s Bravery And Strength

My Symbol Of Strength

I also have the belief that the loved ones that I have lost over the years are watching over me. I truly believe my mom and my grandmother watch over me every day. Going through the battle of MS and Alopecia I can still hear my mom say to me God gives what you can handle.

Truthfully at times, I do say I can’t handle it anymore, it’s too much now. But somehow I have dealt with having MS rather well for 35 years and I believe it’s from her courage.

But then I think of my precious mom who fought so hard until the bitter end of her life and I believe I have her strength and courage because my mom not only had grace she had undeniable courage. She still believed in her faith no matter what.

Yes, I truly believe I have my mother’s courage and ability to fight so hard from her. My mom instilled values in me to never give up and to always believe. I will not deny that at times I question things and ask why these things keep happening but I know my mother the ANGEL of the universe is watching over me and reminding me I’m strong.

I hope you enjoyed the 12 symbols of Christmas and their meaning and learned some cool facts too!

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Christmas pieces from Amazon that symbolize the holiday season

This beautiful tree topper

The perfect wreath to symbolize life

Knit stockings perfect for small trinkets

Perfect red and green for the symbol stockings!

I LOVE these candles and use these all winter!

Great candle sticks!

DIY Christmas signs
DIY Christmas signs

DIY Christmas Signs

DIY Christmas Star tree toppers

Christmas Star Tree Toppers

Star Anise Wreaths

12 thoughts on “12 Symbols of Christmas and Their Meaning

    1. Thankyou of reminding what Christmas is about. So often in the hustle and bustle of the season the meaning gets lost. I also loved how you feel your Mother and Grandmother are still sending their love and giving you strength to do all you do.
      Have a lovely and peaceful holiday season and God Bless you and yours.

  1. I love the idea of candles on the tree. Growing up, my best friend’s family did this. No lights, just candles. Very pretty.

  2. I think I clicked out without posting my comment. UGH. Anyway, this was a great post and I did know most of the things- but not all.
    I do believe your mom and grandmom are watching over you. I had the oddest thing happen to me several years ago. I was born and raised in PA and my little gramma Stella was a wonderful woman. She always loved me unconditionally. We were out somewhere and this man I had never seen before came up to me and said…I don’t normally do this but I want you to know that there is a small woman with straight brown hair with round wire glasses that is right with you. I about fell over because she looked nothing like me and no one here (WI) would have ever seen her. She died when I was a young mom. I had such a deep peace after that.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Cindy. I keep you in my prayers for continued health and management of your MS. xo Diana

  3. I LOVED this post Cindy! Every year when I’m putting up Christmas I wonder about a lot of these things. I have the best intentions of doing a bit of research but I never have. Thank you for putting this together!

  4. Great post on the meaning of Christmas and the symbols we use to celebrate. Thanks for sharing Cindy!I am excited to tell you this post will be featured in Tuesday Turn About Link party this week! Thanks for joining us and I hope to see you at the party this week! Pinning! 😊

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