A Christingle is something that many folks have not heard of and do not know how it relates to Christmas.
The word comes from Germany and means “Little Christ Child” and is an object that is made that is used to celebrate Jesus Christ as the “Light of the World”. A Christingle is used during Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.
It is made with an orange, candle, red ribbon, four sticks that poke out in all directions, and fruits and nuts. Each of these items has a specific meaning behind it.
- Orange: because of its shape it represents the world.
- Candle: A candle is placed straight up and it represents the light of the world or a light in the dark.
- Red Ribbon: It is wrapped around the orange which symbolizes the blood of Jesus and how he saved the world from their sins.
- Four Sticks: These four sticks (toothpicks) represent one of two things depending on who is making the Christingle. They can represent North, South, East, and West or all the seasons.
- Fruits and Nuts: These symbolize the fruits of the earth or God’s bounty that he grows by sunlight and rain.
Christingles became popular in England when The Children’s Society used them in fundraisers. Here is a quick history about their United Kingdom fame from Why Christmas:
The idea came from John Pensom who was also known as “Mr Christingle”! People didn’t think the service would work as making the Christingles would be too complicated – but they were wrong! The custom has spread through to all kinds of churches and is one of the most common and popular Christmas services in the UK, especially among children. Christingles services still normally raise money for children’s charities.
How to Make a Christingle
Unfortunately, this tradition never gained much popularity in the United States. It has stayed across the pond but is a fun tradition throughout the United Kingdom that they enjoy every year.
Despite it not being popular in the United States it is an easy craft that can be done with kids to teach them more about the Birth of Jesus.