Maybe this Christmas, a friend will visit your house. As they admire your Christmas tree decorated with lights, images of the Nativity, perhaps some colorful ribbon and a snowman or two, they’ll spy a strange little ornament hanging close to the trunk of the tree. It’s almost invisible—hidden behind branches and lights and other decorations.
It’s a plain, long nail—much like the nails that pierced the hands and feet of Christ during His Passion. Your guests might wonder why such a nail would be found on a Christmas tree.
You’ll explain to them that Jesus was born in Bethlehem so that, thirty-three years later, He could die for our sins on Calvary. The Nail is a reminder of the Passion this little babe would undergo, as innocent at His death as He was at His birth. It reminds us of His sufferings and the incredible love that motivated both His earthly nativity and His death. This Nail decorates a Christmas tree, and the nails of His Passion decorated the Tree of the Cross.
The Nail is not in a place of prominence, but almost hidden away near the trunk. It is not so much a decoration, but a prayerful reminder for the family and for those guests with particularly keen eyes and hearts.
A poem explains the meaning of The Christmas Nail:
This is The Christmas Nail.
It is to be hung on a sturdy branch,
a branch near the trunk,
a branch that will hold such a spike without being noticed by well-wishers
dropping by to admire one’s tinseled tree.
The nail is known only to the home that hangs it.
Understood only by the heart that knows its significance.
It is hung with the thought that the Christmas tree but foreshadows the Christ-tree
which only He could decorate for us,
ornamented with nails as this.
You can make this tradition your own with a Christmas Nail available from The Catholic Company. Hung on a red ribbon, this Nail will become a beloved part of your Christmas tree. Comes with The Christmas Nail poem and a listing of Scripture prophecies about the Messiah. And this season, it’s on sale! Order yours today!