What is a Chrismon©?
Chrismons are a type of Christmas tree decoration used in many churches
and often in the homes of Christians.
are tree ornaments that proclaim our Lord Jesus
Christ through the use of
used represent a variety of biblical and theological concepts that are
well known among most believers. Technically, if the ornaments on a
Christmas tree are comprised mostly of Christian symbols, the tree is
known as a
Most Chrismons are white with gold decorations of wire, beads, ribbon and
The Chrismons were first developed in 1957 by Mrs. Frances
Kipps Spencer at
Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia. Mrs. Spencer
set out to create decorations appropriate
for a church Christmas tree and gave the copyright for the word
"Chrismons" to Ascension. The Chrismons add their
white and gold beauty to the Christmas season and make the celebration of
our Lord's birth more meaningful by
emphasizing God's great Gift to the world,
our Savior Jesus
evergreen tree, which symbolizes the eternal life which our Savior
has won for us, forms the background for tiny white lights and white and
gold Chrismons designs. The lights speak of Him
who is the light of the world, and the Chrismons ornaments proclaim the
name, the life, and the saving acts of Jesus.
White is the liturgical color for Christmas, and suggests the innocence,
purity, and perfection of our Savior. It is
the color of joy and light. Gold is a symbol for the glory and majesty of God
and the Son of God.
Chrismon Reference Page
Chrismon Instructional Books
Sign of the Fish - Early Christians used the
fish widely as an easily made and recognized secret sign. During the
times of the persecution of the church, Christians could find each
other by using this simple password. To the outsider, the fish was a
mere decoration; to the Christian, it was an affirmation of faith in
Latin Cross - While no one
today truly knows the shape of the cross on which our Lord died, the
church uses this form, the Latin Cross, most widely. Early
Christians often combined the Alpha and Omega with the cross to
declare the Savior's divinity.
Triquetra and Circle - The endless circle
suggests eternity, God - the eternal One, eternal life with God. The triquetra, a complete figure which is composed of three separate and
equal arcs, symbolized the one God who showed himself to man in
three separate and distinct Persons.
Cross in Eternity
Trinity - Three
circles interposed symbolize
the unity of the Trinity, yet the separate Persons thereof.
IOTA CHI -
The Iota (
I ) is the first letter of
our Lord's given name Jesus in Greek. This name means "the promised
one." The Chi ( X ) is
the first letter of His Greek title, Christ. The Greek word for
Christ, Christos (XPISTOS), is the translation of the Hebrew
"Messiah", which means "the one anointed by God." When these two
letters are superimposed, they become our Savior's cipher, the
symbolic interweaving of initials that some people see as a star.
Star of Bethlehem or Eight Pointed Star - This
pre-Christian figure, an eight-pointed star drawn without lifting
the tool from the surface, was adopted by Christians as a
"concealed" Chrismon during the Roman persecutions. When this design
is used, one remembers that it was not always easy to be a
Christian. In Christian symbolism, the eight-pointed star refers to
regeneration through Holy Baptism.
Aldersgate's Christmas 2000
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