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3.57 Is the Christmas tree a Christian symbol? What about advent chocolates, mistletoe and Santa Claus?

The liturgical year

The Advent and Christmas season is full of symbols and traditions, which can help us to prepare for the coming of Jesus. The evergreen branches of the Christmas tree represent the abundant life that Jesus brings. The tradition of decorating the Christmas tree has become part of Advent, bringing light and festivity to the season.

Advent calendars originate in Germanic countries and accompany us during the 24 days before Christmas (sometimes with chocolates). The custom of kissing under the mistletoe had been incorporated into the celebrations surrounding Christmas, but it has no specific relationship with the birth of Christ. Santa Claus has Christian roots, as he was based on Saint Nicholas of Myra, known for his charitable acts. Dutch immigrants brought his tradition to the USA, where it became connected to Christmas.

Evergreen branches remind us of the eternal life Jesus calls us to; advent calendars recall that our time is limited, and Santa Claus was originally a great saint.