At the center of most homes is the much-loved Christmas tree that is usually the first thing that goes up, then meticulously placed in the perfect spot in the home where it gets the most attention during the entire holiday season.
People flood Facebook with their pictures, saying things such as, “It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas,” as they show the tree and creative decorations which they have placed on it with the many packages that lovingly have been placed underneath.
It is a symbol of love, excitement and anticipation of the season.
The New Castle Christian Church has participated in a special tradition for many years by putting up the symbolic Chrismon Tree, which glistens with white and gold beauty.
Ladies in the late 80s organized the effort and did most of the work to make the intricate ornaments.
It was explained that Sarah Graham was the one who initiated and organized the idea of the tree to the church with Edna Crowder and Kernell Lipes assisting.
Later, many church members took part and contributed by making the individual ornaments.
Edna Crowder shared that she had a crack in her thumbnail for a few years after making the ornaments.
Sarah and Ella Mae Greenway took a vine and glued toothpicks on it and then stained it to make the crown of thorns.
Wanda Lee brought in the beautiful tree and lights for the decorations to be placed on.
The tree is set up for educational purposes to tell of the story of Jesus Christ uniquely.
The history of the Chrismon Tree states that in the 1940s, an elderly minister visited a home to wish a couple a Merry Christmas. He noticed some discarded wrappings and asked if he could have them. His little church had no money for Christmas tree ornaments, but he thought he could create some with the leftover papers and ribbons.
It’s been said that, “The minister’s willingness to use his abilities and materials he had found, with the castoff Christmas wrappings impressed that couple and from then on, the couple felt like they could no longer purchase ornaments for their tree.”
They started volunteering to decorate the Christmas tree in their church in Danville, Virginia. The wife wished to create an “out of the ordinary” tree that would honor the Christ child.
That is when she found the illustrations of Charisma which were designs that early Christians had carved or drawn and added other symbols to tell the story of Christ more completely.
It is explained that these symbols extend back to days when, “because of illiteracy, symbols had to be used to communicate the key ideas in our faith.”
The Chrismon is a combination of two words – Christ and Monogram – meaning a monogram of Christ.
Since 1957, many other Chrismon trees have been born.
All Chrismon tree ornaments are white and gold. The white symbolizes the innocence, purity and perfection of the Lord and the gold, His Majesty and glory.
The tiny white lights are added as a symbol that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. The evergreen tree is a symbol of eternal life offered from Jesus Christ. Most Chrismons are made of beads or sequins on the form of wire or styrofoam and some of cross stitch. Details are beautifully intricate.
The Chrismon tree bears symbols of Jesus from the New Testament.
Possible figures for the Chrismon tree are Mary, Joseph, the star, manger, shepherd, angel, sheep, three kings, gifts, fish, descending dove, grapes, crown of thorns, wheat, vine, crown, rock, alpha and omega symbols, Chi-Rho, anchor, basket with the five loaves of fishes and the Latin and Greek crosses.
The Lutheran Church in Danville holds the Chrismon trademark and copyrights to a series of its instruction books.
“It is our hope that the Chrismon Tree will light up your Advent/Christmas season by helping you to more fully enter into the meaning and understanding of the unique Son of God as God’s greatest gift to man,” said Diane Givens.
She added, “Today, Sunday School class members continue to put up the tree for all to enjoy. It’s a highlight of the season at the New Castle Christian Church.”
The Pastor, Sheldon Cosma, will be planning a Christmas Eve service at 7:30 p.m.
People can tune in the parking lot, come into the sanctuary or into the fellowship hall which will provide plenty of room for social distancing.
There will not be a candlelight service this year, however; there will be a communion service and singing of Christmas carols. Everyone is invited to enjoy this special night and to view their glistening Chrismon Tree.