FUPC’s festive Christmas decorations include a giant tree covered with white and gold ornaments called “Chrismons” — Christ’s monograms.
Chrismons were first developed in 1957 by Frances Spencer and the women of the Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, VA. Many churches today display a Chrismon tree during the Advent and Christmas season.
FUPC has had a Chrismon tree since 1974. This is the 49th year we’ve a Chrismon tree in our worship area! The first tree was set up in the narthex (now the Gathering Place). As the tree became larger and more Chrismons were added, the tree was moved to the sanctuary. A group of ladies met regularly to make each ornament.
The picture below shows one of the original FUPC Chrismons.
Each Chrismon ornament is handmade using the traditional colors of white and gold. White is the liturgical color for Christmas and symbolizes the purity and perfection of Jesus. Gold symbolizes His Majesty and Glory. Some additional colors are added for a specific purpose. For example, the picture below shows the traditional Advent candles in pink and purple.
Chrismons are never made to be sold; instead they are given as gifts to the church or to an individual. Chrismon are symbols from the Bible or early church history. They tell the story of Jesus and are displayed on an evergreen tree, usually with white lights.
Over the past several years, the ladies assembling the Chrismon tree noticed that some of the ornaments were showing their age and deteriorating. Some were no longer repairable. So, in the spring, we got together and looked at different patterns and materials to create additional Chrismons.
Chrismons can be made from felt, paper, Styrofoam, wire, beads, and other materials. Leslie Johnson shared the Chrismons her mother had made for her and her brother. We liked that design the best. We bought several boxes of craft Styrofoam, bottles of craft glue, many spools of white, gold, and silver ribbons, craft pearls, gold and silver beads, glitter and glitter paper and other supplies.
We have met each Wednesday morning for the past 8 months for about an average of 3 hours. The group included Leslie Johnson, Quetta Wardlow, Janet Clausen, Teresa Weeks, Ginger DeSoto and Barbara Verdery.