Did you know that the chopping down of the Christmas tree represents the death of Christ?

Did you know that putting it back up represents the miracle of His resurrection?

Did you know that the wreaths we hang on our front doors are infinite circles that represent eternity?

Candy canes were made to look like a shepherd’s hook, for Jesus is the Good Shepherd. The red represents the Blood of Christ, and the white symbolizes purity.

The gifts under your Christmas tree are reminiscent of the gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the Three Magi brought to Jesus on the day of His birth, which we celebrate this month.

Christmas is filled with so many amazing symbols of the true gift given to us, the gift of Jesus Christ. And in the hectic year that was 2020, we need that gift more than ever.

But this is not just a holiday season for Christians. Right now, our local Jewish community is celebrating Chanukah, a festive holiday by its own right. While Christians celebrate the birth of their Lord and Savior, the Jews too celebrate their liberation.

Chanukah is also called the Festival of Lights, because of the miracle associated with it. What’s interesting is that the miracle does not seem so miraculous when compared to the story behind it. Chanukah begins with the Maccabeean Revolt, when Jews led by Judah Maccabee (Judah the Hammer), overthrew their Greek oppressors.

The miracle of Chanukah, however, has nothing to do with that Herculean feat, but rather that the lit menorah, an important Temple relic used for liturgical purposes. The oil for the menorah to perform services was only meant to last one day, but in fact lasted eight. This is the reason why Jews have an eight-day holiday, where they light a chanukiah, which is a specific menorah for Chanukah.

The chanukiah is more unique than your standard menorah. For one, each of the eight candlesticks are equal to the rest, with only one, the Shamash, higher than the rest, and would be used to light the other candles. Shamash was a former name of a Canaanite deity and is now one of the names Jews use as a title for God.

Another Chanukah symbol is the dreidel, a four-sided top with the Hebrew letters gimel, daled, hey, and shin. The letters are an acronym for a Hebrew phrase translating to “a great miracle happened there”, referring to what happened in Jerusalem. If you are in Jerusalem, you may find the dreidels will have the pey instead of the shin, as the Hebrew word changes from “there” to “here”.

SuEllen’s Floral Company wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, and a Wonderful Holiday for you and your family.

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