Monday, 12 December 2016

Christingle 2016

The Boy's and I went to our Church's Christingle service on Sunday which was great.

For us it one of the important traditions that we, as a family, enjoy. Yet, for others it is a real central activity at this time of year and with that it is always lovely to see a filled church with a varying degree of generations together.
For everyone who is unsure of what a Christingle is I though I would share it here.

A Christingle consists of:

An Orange, which represents the earth.

A red ribbon around it representing the blood of Christ.

Dried fruits skewered on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons. 

A lit candle pushed into the centre of the orange, representing Jesus Christ as the light of the world.

This is one of my favourite things leading up to Christmas as it is a real change of pace compared to other events that might be going on full of festive fun and cheer!

The story of the Christingle is that there were three children, who were very poor, but wanted to give a gift to Jesus, like the other families at church were doing. The only nice thing they had was an orange, so they decided to give him that. 

The top was going slightly green, so the eldest cut it out and put a candle in the hole. They thought it looked dull, so the youngest girl took her best red ribbon from her hair and attached it round the middle with toothpicks. 

The middle child had the idea to put a few pieces of dried fruit on the ends of the sticks. 

They took it to the church for the Christmas mass, and whereas the other children sneered at their meagre gift, the priest took their gift and showed it as an example of true understanding of the meaning of Christmas. Subsequently this is now the symbol for the Children's charity, the Children's Society. Such a great cause check out.
With the story told we went to make our Christingle's and we did with the help of the child group director dressing up as one!
Poor Liam!
Then finally the boys made a Christingle each.

With the Christingle's made and then lit it was a great reflection of what each part meant.

Although it is great to know the reason behind the Christingle the message behind each part is important. I have always found that this time of year you are caught up in the rush of Christmas, pulled into the commercialisation of it all with the idea of what the best present and toy is. This service however strips all that away and shows the meaning behind why we have it. For me, most importantly, tell a story of children who didn't have that much at Christmas but continued to give rather than receiving.

The Boys and I, this Christmas day, will be lighting our Christingle and remembering amongst the hype why we're celebrating Christmas.

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