Christmas Symbolism and New Year’s Traditions

xmasThe holidays are quickly approaching as everyone prepares to celebrate.  As we hustle and bustle around preparing for the holidays, we see many common symbols everywhere at the malls and in our homes, but have you ever stopped to realize hidden meaning behind them.  Years ago, I came across as story about the Christmas tree and its symbolism. In some cultures what you adorn your tree with is what you what the coming New Year to bring to you.  At that time in my life, my then husband was facing a serious health issue of going blind.  I recalled the story and was touched by the tradition that I decided to adorn the tree with this is mind.   I covered the tree with white lights and gold angels, the white lights symbolizing vision and the angels granting the miracle of sight.  I recall the look on his face when he came home from work that day saying it was the most beautiful tree he had ever seen in his life.  My miracle was granted and he never lost his sight. For example if you wanted love to come into your life the coming year you could put hearts and flowers, or if you wanted wealth, they would use coins and grains to bring in money for the New Year.  Below are some of the symbols with their meanings:

Angels~ represent messengers. An angel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of a child.

Bells~ are symbolic and associated with churches.

Doves~ symbolize peace and a reminder of the Holy Spirit.

Lights~ signifying light coming into the world “light of the world”

Poinsettias~ mean star flower bloom only around Christmas time representing the Star of Bethlehem.

Mistletoe~ was used to protect against evil.

Wreaths~ circular in shape as a reminder no beginning and no end, eternal.

newyearWhen we look at New Year Superstitions they are meant to usher in good luck while keeping bad luck away it is also a time to resolve bad habits and begin a time of renewal.  It is believed that what you do on New Year’s Day will set the tone for the following year.  It is important to watch our feelings and make sure we are not crying and upset otherwise we will have a bad year full of tears instead be happy and upbeat.  Here are a few superstitions you may have heard of and some that might be new to you.

Black eyed peas~ or grapes eaten is believed to bring wealth.

Kissing~ at midnight ensures affection for the year if your alone kissing a pet will work too.

Noise makers~ to scare away evil spirits and bring in new ones.

Money~ fill your wallet with money to ensure a prosperous year.  Do not lend money as well.

Cupboards~ fill them before New Year’s Day to have a year of plenty.

Work~ Do something small work wise on this day to bring steady work for the year.

Visitors~ It is believed the 1st person to visit you will have influence on your life the entire year.

Finally pay attention to the wind, if it is calm outside it signifies a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Wishing you a very blessed holiday and may the coming New Year bring you all you desire.

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