Lights on the Tree = Stars, Jesus, Love, Adam & Eve, or What?


So, today one of the questions in my 7th grade class was, “What does the light shooting forth from the head of the Ghost of Christmas Past represent?”

Mind you, I wrote the questions. This assignment isn’t something I’ve borrowed from a textbook, another teacher, or the internet. This question brought about a lot of discussion in every class period. Deep discussion. Great discussion.

One of my students in my last class of the day asked another question about a current Christmas tradition based on that question. I responded, “Great question. I don’t know the answer, but I’ll research it tonight.”

After school today I did, and what I discovered is driving me mad.

I actually, apparently, gave my students the wrong answer to the question I asked.

I know now what caused my incorrect thought process that led me to give them the wrong answer, but regardless, I must now tell an entire grade-level that I told them the wrong thing. It’s embarrassing. It’s inconvenient that I now have to re-teach something because I messed up.

On the flipside, this too is a great learning opportunity. As much as I hate to fail in front of that many watching eyes, now they get to see that I am not perfect (they already knew this), see me accept responsibility for my mistake, see me make the effort to correct my mistake, and learn an additional fact that we would have overlooked. All is not lost. There is always a learning lesson in the midst of failure!

Now, back to my Christmas research of the day! Why do we string lights on our Christmas trees?

I have learned a lot about the history of the Christmas tree tonight! I’m going to give you all a lot of links to check out.

Some highlights include:

*Christmas trees were originally fir trees used to explain the Trinity. They were hung, upside down, from the ceiling and were not decorated.

*Martin Luther is credited, by legend, as decorating and lighting the first Christmas tree. He used a candle to represent the star that led the Wise Men to Bethlehem.

*Christmas tree=Paradise tree and has to do with the fall of Adam & Eve in the garden.

*The Christmas tree was a descendant of the Paradise tree and the Christmas Light.

I’m not certain why lights were originally placed on the Christmas tree. For me, their little twinkling bulbs do remind me of stars in the sky. I like to think of them as a reminder that our Savior, Jesus Christ, was born into this world to be the Light of the world.

That’s what the light’s on our tree mean to me. What do the lights on your Christmas tree represent to you? Would your Christmas tree be the same if you were to put it up without lights?

I’m a little disappointed that I don’t have an exact history of WHY we put Christmas lights on the tree back to my student, but I sure did learn a lot tonight. Sometimes we take things, traditions, in life for granted and we don’t stop to think about why we do the things we do. This Christmas I’m using my blogging time as time to look into the very Christmas traditions we hold so near and dear.

Why do we do the things we do? Are these traditions in our best interest? Do they truly reflect the love of Christ and the love of God our Father?

I want His love to shine through me and shed light onto all those I come in contact with every day.

Merry Christmas, friends. May the Son of God be the light to your path this Christmas season…and the light on your tree.

Want to read more about Christmas trees and lights?
http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventions/a/Xmas_Lights.htm
http://www.christmasarchives.com/trees.html
http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/christmas-tree-stories2.htm
http://www.orlutheran.com/html/chrtree1.html
http://www.christmas-tree.com/where.html

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