Chrismons: Proclaiming Christ at Christmas

"Chrismons” are special ornaments hung on Christmas trees and used in decorations that remind us of the true meaning of the Christmas season and point us to Christ child. The dictionary defines a Chrismon as "a monogram of Christ." Each Chrismon represents Jesus Christ--his life, ministry, nature or teaching. The symbols are non-denominational and are recognized by most Christians. If a Christmas tree is decorated with Christian symbols, the tree is known as a "Chrismon Tree."  The evergreen tree, which symbolizes eternal life, provides a background for white lights and gold and white Chrismon designs. The lights proclaim Jesus is the light of the world, and the Chrismon ornaments declare His name, life and saving acts.

The History of the Chrismon

The tradition of Chrismons began in 1957 when Frances Kipps Spencer (1917-1990), a member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia, set out to create decorations appropriate for the church Christmas tree.

Chrismons at Resurrection

On December 4, 1994, our congregation moved into its first Sanctuary, what is now the Wesley Covenant Chapel. In preparation, we decorated our Sanctuary for Christmas with evergreen trees, white lights and Chrismon ornaments. Volunteers sewed simple white felt shapes, and then each family in the church decorated a Chrismon with gold glitter, ribbon, beads and sequins. As we have grown over the years, so has our collection of Chrismons, and they continue to visibly remind us during each Advent season of the one we worship and serve.

Making Your Own Chrismons

Chrismons may never be made for profit, so you are not going to find them commercially made, but making your own is a wonderful family activity. Generally, Chrismons are made from white felt, cardboard or foam and gold decorations. Download and print Chrismon patterns at the top right of this page, or view the descriptions and simple patterns of the Chrismons made for the Resurrection trees in 1994.

Chrismon Patterns

Download and print these patterns and create your own Chrismons. Most Chrismons are made from white felt, cardboard or foam and gold decorations.

Alpha and Omega
Anchor Cross
Bell
Budded Cross
Butterfly
Chi Rho
Circle and Triangle
Communion Cup
Cross and Crown
Cross Patté
Fish
Fleur de Lis

Harp
Lamb
Lamp
Star, Epiphany