Many of the Symbols of the Season become precious and sacred for us because they’re central to the Biblical Nativity Narratives—a manger, a creche, shepherds, angels, and kings from the east.
But Christianity is at its cleverest when it moves out from its indigenous origins to foreign climes and unfamiliar symbolic matrices. For instance, when the story of Jesus’ birth moved out of arid rocky Palestine into the boreal forests of Europe, the pioneer evangelists simply colonized what was already sacred to the local denizens and baptized them as sacred. Why do pine trees and snow make us think of Christmas? Well, that sounds like a sermon series.