The Finds

Christmas Symbols Unit Study {Free}

Christmas Symbols Unit Study {Free}

We have always enjoyed a change of pace during the holiday season. Over the years we have enjoyed three wonderful Christmas unit studies by Karen Caroe. One of these units is “A Blessed Christmas,” focusing on Christmas symbols and their meanings.

Every Christmas symbol ought to point to the Lord Jesus Christ. Our entire focus for this season is on Christ, His character, our service to Him, and our opportunity to spread His light to others.

Karen Caroe, “A Blessed Christmas”

Designed to begin on December 1 and continue through the 24th, the unit includes ideas for celebrating Christmas and the twelve days of Christmas through January 6.

We have provided updated resources and links to go with the unit below.

  • Make a “Symbols of Christmas” notebook:
    • Print out Drawing & Writing Paper for each symbol.
    • Draw/illustrate or paste the symbol at the top.
    • Copy the related Scripture verse below.
    • Use the rest of the writing space to narrate what is learned about that symbol.
  • Use the Bible verses listed for memorization or dictation.


Day 1: The Advent Wreath

Luke 2:19

The Making and the Meaning of an Advent Wreath
Relatively simple instructions.

Advent Wreath Craft
For younger children from First-School.


Day 2: Bells

Psalm 100

Christmas Bells
Learn the history behind the bells we hear at Christmas.

Bell Ornament
Make a bell ornament out of a mini clay pot.

Bell Songs
Teach younger children one of these bell songs.

Carol of the Bells
Enjoy this well-known handbell favorite.
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Day 3: Cards

Luke 2:13-15

The History of Christmas Cards
The tradition, the first Christmas card, and an interesting infographic from

Nativity Christmas Cards
Step-by-step instructions and easy for children to make.

Christmas Cards for Kids
Seven ideas from Martha Stewart to help youngsters make their own.

Christmas Cards
Interactive Christmas card maker from DLTK.


Day 4: St. Nicholas

Philippians 2:1-11

The Real Saint Nicholas
How we got from the Bishop of Myra to Santa Claus.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore
Classic poem in the public domain.

Christmas Symbols Unit Study {Free}‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Our favorite illustrated version — one for each child that is read nearly every year!

NORAD Tracks Santa
For those really into the Santa Claus tradition.


Day 5: Gifts

Matthew 2:10-11

Christmas Presents
The history of giving gifts…starting with the Three Wise Men.

49 Christmas Shoe Box Stuffing Ideas
Ideas for stuffing a shoe box to send in conjunction with Operation Christmas Child sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse.

The Gift of the Magi (Audio)
Librivox version.

“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry
Free download.


Day 6: Ornaments

James 1:17

History of the Christmas Ornament
Brief history from Hallmark.

Easy Christmas Tree Ornaments
Many options for making these “Thankful” ornaments by gluing or lettering things you are thankful for on each one.

Christmas Blessings Mix Recipe
Yummy treat where each ingredient reminds us of a holiday blessing.

Off the Edge — Christmas Ornaments
OK, not usually into this sort of thing, but this game from A Kid’s Heart is lots of fun this time of year….


Day 7: Christmas Tree

Luke 2:52

2 Peter 3:17-18

The History of Christmas Trees

Make a Paper Christmas Tree
Craft from Enchanted Learning.

Handprint Christmas Tree Craft
Another idea from DLTK with templates for ornaments.

Gift Tree
A great idea!

Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree Recipe
Cinnamon rolls in the shape of a tree. Yummy!

Trim a Christmas Tree
Interactive where you trim the tree and then turn off the light (switch on left of tree) to see the results.


Day 8: Candles

Matthew 5:14-16

John 8:12

Christmas Candles
History from

Choosing a Light Source
Infographic to show when to use what type.

Edison’s Incandescent Light Bulb: A Unit StudyEdison’s Incandescent Light Bulb: A Unit Study
Our own unit study describing how they work.

Sand Candle
Complete instructions for making your own Christmas candle.

Light and Dark
Interactive from the BBC that explores the brightness of different light sources.

Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella
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Day 9: Wreaths

John 3:16

History of the Wreath
From Northwoods Inspirations.

Make a Paper Wreath From Little Hand Prints
Great for even the youngest child.

Paper Plate Wreath
Simple activity from DLTK.

Gingerbread-Man Wreath
A wreath you can eat from Martha Stewart.

No-Bake Christmas Wreath Treats
Easy and super yummy!


Day 10: Holly

2 Corinthians 8:9

Hebrews 12:2

Holly, Ivy and Christmas Plants
Background from

Holly Napkin Holders
Simple, but elegant, from Martha Stewart.

Holly Wreath Leaf Craft
Easy for children.

No-Bake Holly Cookies
Simple recipe from Kraft similar to the wreath above but … well, holly-shaped.

The Holly and the Ivy
Sung by KidZone.
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Day 11: Poinsettia

Matthew 6:28-30

26 Bible Verses About Flowers

Poinsettias at Christmas
The history from

Christmas Symbols Unit Study {Free}The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
Christmas favorite that tells the story of “The Flower of the Holy Night.”

Christmas in Mexico
Read how Christmas is celebrated in Mexico.

Feliz Navidad
Cute sing-along for young ones.
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Day 12: Shepherd’s Staff

Psalm 23:1-5

Christmas Candy Canes
History from

Candy Cane Poem
Avoids the legend (which is likely untrue), but retains the object lesson.

Spangler Candy Cane Tour
How the candy is made.

Chocolate-Dipped Candy Canes
A special treat with hot cocoa.


Day 13: X-Mas

Luke 1:30-33

Christmas or Xmas?
History from

View the symbol in a page from the Book of Kells.

The Greek Alphabet
Learn the Greek alphabet.

Luke 2
In Greek for copying — well, maybe just a verse or two!

Christmas in Greece
Read how Christmas is celebrated in Greece.


Day 14: Carols

Psalm 33:1-3

The History of Christmas Carols

Christmas Symbols Unit Study {Free}Joy to the World! by Kenneth W. Osbeck
The stories behind 25 well-known Christmas carols along with the music and lyrics.  Great resource! Read our full review.

A selection of Christmas carols with lyrics and midi.

Christmas Carol Charades
Use the list above and these simple instructions.

Christmas Carols & Hymns Unit Study {Free}Christmas Carols & Hymns Unit Study {Free}
Lots of resources covering 15 Christmas carols and hymns.

Christmas Notebooking Pages
A variety of Christmas-themed pages suitable for recording a Christmas poem in this beautiful (and large!) 60-page free download from  Highly recommended! (Free membership required. Scroll down to the Holiday category and click on the December tab.)


Day 15: Carolers

Ephesians 5:19-20

Colossians 3:16

The Huron Carol
Learn more about the history of the first American Christmas carol.


Day 16: Star

Matthew 2:1-2

Christmas Symbols Unit Study {Free}Find the Constellations by H.A. Rey
A favorite for learning about the constellations from the author of the Curious George series.

Star Stories {Free eBook, Go-Alongs & Star Book Pages}
A new favorite way to learn the constellations!

Stained Glass Star
Use as an ornament or hand on the window and let the light shine through.

Favorite Sugar Cookies
Our favorite for making stars.


Day 17: Manger Scene

Luke 2:6-7

Nativity Plays and Cribs
The history of the tradition from

Christmas Nativity
Simple nativity scene ready to print and assemble from Billy Bear 4 Kids.

Nativity Scene
Simple but beautiful and ready to color. (Scroll down to print the two PDF pages.)

Build a Nativity Scene
Interactive for young children.

Make Your Own Nativity Scene
Download from to print and color.


Day 18: Angels

Hebrews 13:1-2

Read Scripture verses that mention angels to learn more about them.

Paper Plate Angel
Simple craft from Enchanted Learning.

Paper Plate Angel
The Martha Stewart version.

Angel Christmas Tree Ornament
Easy to make.


Day 19: Baby in the Manger

Luke 2:7; 11-12

Activity: Compare & ContrastActivity: Compare & Contrast
All types of resources for comparing/contrasting the two types of visitors that came to see Jesus as described.

The Names of Jesus
You might want to refer to this other Karen Caroe unit for help with the names of Jesus and Scripture references.

Luke 1:26-56
Jesus’ birth announcement.

Away in a Manger
Sing along with the Cedarmont Kids.
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Day 20: Mary

Luke 1:26-38, 46-56

Character Analysis
Notebooking page from that can be used to list qualities of Mary as described.

Gabriel Visits Mary
One of the lessons from the free 325-Lesson Bible Curriculum at Calvary Chapel Children’s Ministries with coloring page, memory verse and activities.

The Nativity
Younger children can arrange the nativity scene in this interactive from A Kid’s Heart.


Day 21: Joseph

Matthew 1:18-2:23

Character Analysis
Notebooking page from that can be used to list qualities of Joseph as described.

Escape to Egypt
Another lesson from the free 325-Lesson Bible Curriculum at Calvary Chapel Children’s Ministries covering Matthew 2:13-23 with coloring page, memory verse and activities.

Arrange the Nativity Scene
Another interactive from A Kid’s Heart for younger children.


Day 22: Shepherds

Psalm 68:10; Psalm 74:21b; James 2:5

Shepherd Paper Craft
Easy activity from DLTK.

Angels Appeared to Shepherds
From the free 325-Lesson Bible Curriculum at Calvary Chapel Children’s Ministries with coloring page, memory verse and activities.


Day 23: Lambs

Luke 2:8, 15-16; John 1:29; John 10:14-15

The Sheep
From The Scripture Alphabet of Animals by Mr. Harriet N. Cook.

Animal Study
Interactive at ReadWriteThink to record what you learn about sheep.

“The Lamb”
Poem by William Blake.

Little Lamb Cookies
From Martha Stewart. (Or use small mini-marshmallows, icing and chocolate chips to decorate cut-out or animal cookie sheep.)

Sheep and Their Shepherds
Lots of resources for learning more about sheep and sheep herding.


Day 24: The Wise Men

Proverbs 9:10, 16:16; James 1:5

Compare and Contrast Map
Interactive at ReadWriteThink that can be used to compare the wise with the fool.

The Wise Men
From the free 325-Lesson Bible Curriculum at Calvary Chapel Children’s Ministries with coloring page, memory verse and activities.

The Wise Men
Lesson from DLTK.

The Gifts of the Wise Men
This craft kit is no longer available so there is nothing to buy. But you can read the commonly accepted meaning of the gifts, and use the idea to create your own ornament.