Working With Dream Themes: Holiday Symbolism

Christmas Tree as Tree of Life

Christmas Tree
Pin by Sheree Graves

With the holidays soon upon us, and a recent dream I had of a Christmas tree, I was reminded that dream symbols reflecting Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and the New Year often commonly appear this time of year. No doubt the dreams containing these holiday symbols are drawing off the powerful energy and high intensity of feelings, remembrances of past holidays and gatherings with old friends and family that the holidays bring. So during this holiday season, pay attention to your holiday symbols and ask what they mean for you. Because these symbols are so powerful and are so connected with important times and passages in our lives, they have much to offer in new insight.

Dream: Christmas Tree of Transformation

Many years ago, visionary dreams were fashioning the course for the remaining half of my life but I did not understand those dreams then. They were so surrealistic and majestic that I only knew they didn’t pertain to my humdrum life at the time. One such dream was a Christmas tree dream in which I dreamed that I was standing in front of a very tall and beautiful Christmas tree. Taking up my full field of vision, it was lavishly decorated with brilliant lights and tiny magical ornaments in the shapes of different women. The tree was so stunning it took my breath away. A voice came in the dream and said, “This tree is your life. All those beautiful ornaments and lights on the tree are the various heartaches, difficulties and challenges you will face in your life. Eventually, they will turn from something repugnant into something of beauty, light and wonder—like these ornaments. This tree is part of an agreement you made before you born.”

In terms of symbolism, it was clear that the magnificent tree represented the Tree of Life, my life. The shining lights indicated the celebratory end of a healing process. The tiny figures of various kinds of women certainly represented me in all my aspects—and at the same time could possibly represent all the people I was meant to help, since most of these have been women. (Dreams often uncannily have simultaneously an inner and outer meaning.)

In mentioning the contract I already made, the voice in the dream seemed to imply that it was my job to help make sure the negative aspects of my life turned into positive and literally glowing results. I was already starting to accumulate my share of negative experiences so I knew the dream was pointing out something important! I also thought it very intriguing that the voice said this was something I agreed to before I was born—an interesting concept which I later learned Plato had written about as well as other metaphysical thinkers such as Edgar Cayce and some of the New Age writers.

At the time, the Christmas tree dream seemed to make no sense from a practical standpoint other than give me a lot pleasure remembering the beauty of it. It actually added a burden by implying I had a mission to do, as if I could turn lemons into lemonade! I could easily count the hurts to tally up the lemons but my dream gave me no clue about the pesky details: how, when, why and who would be involved in turning the lemons to lemonade. And besides, what did this have to do with immediate and practical problems of paying the rent, accumulating a 401K, or earning vacation time? However, the dream had a much deeper meaning, pointing to a far reaching and fundamental purpose of my life.

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