The Legend of the Christmas Rose

When I think of roses, I think of gardeners who adorn their lawns with these wonderful, fragrant flowers, with the prickly thorns on the stems. However, I recently discovered the significant and historic meaning of giving roses.

In addition to admiring the beauty roses, various colours represent occasions, or symbols, and are often given as gifts. For instance, some specific colours show appreciation or significance such as:

  • Love (red)
  • Friendship (yellow)
  • Get well (yellow)
  • Showing gratitude (PINK)
  • Weddings (white, showing purity and a new beginning)
  • Death (dyed black roses)

    But, did you know that the rose also has a unique and significant, historic Christmas Tradition... and it is many centuries old? The meaning of giving with a ROSE initially played a religious significance.

    The Legend of the Christmas Rose, is a story of how Madelon, a young, poor, female shepherd, witnessed the three wise men bringing baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

    Legend has it, Madelon witnessed the three kings visit baby Jesus and she grew unhappy and weary because she did not have any gifts to adorn the holy child also. The story goes that an angel heard her weep ,and she turned her bed of tears into a gift of white roses, (now called Christmas roses), for her to provide to the baby Jesus.

    Legend of the Christimas Rose(Source:

    In short, the angel proclaimed that this gift she offered shows love, faith and devotion. To this day, roses are a symbol of these things and are identified as a symbolic gift with meaning of purpose, over the centuries. There is a famous, 15th century German poem (Es ist ein Ros' Entsprungen -- author unknown) and it translates as follows:

    A Rose has sprung from a tender root,
    From Jesus, as those of old have sung,
    And it bore a flower,
    In the middle of a cold winter,

    When half spent was the night.
    Isaiah foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
    Is Mary the pure, the little flower has brought us.
    From God's eternal wisdom, she bore a child,
    And remained pure.

    The Flower, so small, whose sweet fragrance fills the air,
    Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
    True man and truer God, helps us out of all sorrows,
    Saves from sin and death.

    Oh Jesus, until we leave this misery,
    Let your help guide us into joy,
    In Your Father's Kingdom, where we eternally praise You.
    Oh God, allow us this.


    Pictured, below: A white Christmas rose, commonly grown in Europe, on the side of mountains in winter. They are not as common in North America, but still can be found.

    (Source: google images)

    In addition to the 15th century poem, there is a 1908, publish Swedish story from by Selma Logerlof, which contains a villain, Bishop and the story of Christmas Eve. You can read about it here

    (Source: google images)

    Regardless of your religious background, millions celebrate Christmas, which was initially to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But now it is commercialized and recognized as a time of gift giving for millions, with varied religious beliefs.

    Even if you do not recognize this religious significance, roses are traditional gifts given all year-round, as a symbol or significance because OF this story. It expresses various meanings -- be it love, devotion, friendship, a get well greeting, a sign of purity, or death, etc.

    I always loved brooches and I wear a gold rose on my jacket often. Now I now understand the significance of giving roses and how this flower always appealed to me. Here's MY brooch that I wear often.

    Instead of buying those fresh cut flowers that die in a few days... why not adore yourself or your loved one with vintage jewelry of a rose that lasts for years?

    We have a few wonderful jewelry pieces that outlast a fresh bouquet and they represent love, or faith and devotion. Indeed, they won't have the lovely smell or gorgeous colours. But they still symbolize so many things.

    First, we have for purchase, this lovely red and gold RED rose brooch, adored with rhinestones. It is so lovely!

    Red Rose Brooch

    Alternatively, this stunning gold tone brooch, similar to the one I wear regularly is wonderful!

    Plus, there is this lovely WHITE rose, celluloid brooch from the 1940's, with a delicate clasp. This colour is great for expressing purity, for a wedding, or to adorn a fabulous dress or coat.

    Stunning 1940s Brooch - White

    In addition, we have this gorgeous, 1960s dangled clip-on earrings in white roses.

    Plus these are so filled screwback earrings - White Rose with Gold Leafs... such a wonderful gift or wedding accessory.

    Also, our wonderful pink earring collection has some stunning floral patterns, including roses. This stunning collection includes many items from Western Germany from the 1950's and 1960's. I love PINK!

    Pink Jewelry from Peppermint twist vintage

    Last but not least, I really admire this stunning gold brooch with silver tone petals. This is an ornate, carved pin from the 1970's time frame. This makes a lovely gift for a loved one or friend, or treat yourself!


    Whatever your style, roses are *special* and have so many hidden meanings. They could be symbolic or you can just admire them for what they are.

    Even if you don't have that special someone in your life, don't forget to stop and smell the roses!!!

    Whatever you celebrate this week, be it Christmas, or nothing special at all, enjoy the rest of the year, with or without roses.

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    Until next time,

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