12th Day Christmas Past Question & Story

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in Christmas Past 2014 | 6 comments

4th-Christmas-Past-Logo-webOur last day of Christmas Past is here.  We will be having our Grand Prize Drawing on Christmas Eve!!

On the 12th Day Christmas Past, teach them of Christmas Symbols…

Question: Which of the Christmas symbols mentioned means the most to you?

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The Symbols of Christmas

Late one Christmas Eve I sank into my easy chair. Admiring the tree with it’s decorations, I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing… The kids were in bed, the gifts were all wrapped, the milk and cookies were in their place for Santa… It wasn’t long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me into a deep sleep.

I don’t know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I opened my eyes and there stood Santa Claus himself next to my Christmas Tree.

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him. But he was not the “jolly old elf” of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed with tears in his eyes.

I had to ask, “Santa, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”

“It’s the children” Santa replied sadly.

“but the children love you.” I said.

“Oh I know they love me and the gifts I bring them,” Santa said. “But the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It’s not their fault. It just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children.”

“Teach them what?” I asked.

Santa’s kind old face became soft and gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears. He spoke softly. “Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the parts of Christmas we can see, hear, and touch are much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas we now observe. Teach them what it is that they truly represent.”

Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it on the fireplace mantle. “teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen with its unchanging color represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heaven ward as a reminder that man’s thoughts should turn heaven ward as well.”

(–sing “I lived in Heaven”)

Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. “The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises and that the wise will still seek Him.”

(–Sing, “Stars were Gleaming”)

“Red,” said Santa “is the first color of Christmas.” He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. “Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God’s greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave His life and shed his blood for them that they might have eternal life. When they see the color red it should remind them of that most wonderful gift.”

(–Sing “Did Jesus really live again”)

Santa found a bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. “Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd who gave his life for the sheep.”

(–Sing “Christmas Bells”)

Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. “The glow of the candle represents how man can show his thanks for the gift of God’s Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children to follow in Christ’s footsteps. . . to go about doing good. Teach them to let their lights shine before men that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkling lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God’s precious children, their light shining for all to see.

(–Sing “I am trying to be like Jesus”)

Again, Santa reached into his bag and this time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped candy cane. As he hung it on the tree, He spoke softly, “The candy cane is a stick of hard red and white candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus. The shape J to represent the precious name of Jesus who came to earth as our Savior. It also represents the crook of the Good Shepherd, which he uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs that, like sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed and a large red stripe that represents the shedding of blood of Jesus so that we can have eternal life. Teach these things to the children”

(–Sing “The Shepherds Carol”)

Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh fragrant greenery and tied with a bright red bow. “The bow reminds us that the bond of perfection which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors red and green and the heaven turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice. Even the wreath’s very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ’s love. It is a circle without beginning and without end. These are the things you must teach the children.”

(–Sing “Families can be together forever”)

“But where does that leave you Santa?” I asked. The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa’s face. “Why, bless you, my dear,” he laughed. “ I, too am only a symbol. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I’ll ever be forgotten.”

“I think I’m beginning to understand at last, “ I replied.

“That’s why I came” said Santa, “You’re an adult. If you don’t teach the children these things, then who will?”

Challenge:  Have your family stop and take some time to participate in this story and song activity or to read the Christmas story before all the presents & stockings.

(For music and words see the LDS music site – https://www.lds.org/music/library/childrens-songbook?lang=eng)

Taken from:  Internet Dec 22, 2014:  http://christcenteredtraditions.blogspot.com/2008/11/christmas-symbols-story.html


  1. I choose the star as a reminder that God wil always fulfill his promises to me too. Also if I seek for and recognize the signs he has given, they will lead me to Christ.

  2. The star reminds me of hope and life and peace. It reminds me that we have our Savior as a guide, and that as we look to Him, He will give us the light we need in our lives.

  3. The candy cane is special to me. Jesus Christ is the good shepherd and kindly finds us and leads us home. Interestingly, another name for Christ is the Lamb of God – another symbol that helps us remember that he is a lamb like us and knows what we go through – a great atonement symbol.

  4. How can you pick just one of these symbols, for they each symbolizes a meaning of Christmas. I love them and they all have special meaning to me. Whether its the star of promise or the wreath that embodies all good things of Christmas. These symbols represent all of Christmas. The colors, the sounds, the meanings are all important. But the most important is the birth of our Savior. For through his birth and life on earth, and through his great atonement he made it possible for us to have eternal life and to live together with our families forever. That is the true meaning of Christmas

  5. Recently in the Deseret News was an article entitled, “The 3 Levels of Christmas.” The first is the Santa Claus level: trees, holly, packages, candlelight, and good food.
    The second is the “Silent Night” level: carols, Luke II with the inn, stable, shepherds, angels, wise men
    and the birth of Jesus Christ.
    The third is the adult Christ: “our Savior brings his gifts of lasting joy, peace and hope, the Creator, Sacrifice and Perfect Example which will help all mankind to celebrate Christmas all year long.”

  6. Its hard to chose which one but my husband just passed away five months ago today and he enjoyed Christmas so much and being our first Christmas without him I can only think about being with him again some day so the green tree pointing towards heaven reminds me to look up n follow the teachings of the gospel so we can be a family forever.

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