The legend of the Christmas sand dollar
CINDY LANE | SUN
Sand dollars are fitting ornaments for Christmas trees,
given the treasures they contain.
The sand dollar is more than just a cute Christmas ornament for Anna Maria Island trees; it’s actually rich with Christian symbolism.
Round and white, like the communion wafer in many Christian churches, the sand dollar contains mysteries.
If you break it open, as Christ broke the bread at the Last Supper, you may be lucky enough to find a small star that is sometimes hidden in the center – the star of Bethlehem.
Around the star are often five tiny white doves, symbolizing the birth of the Prince of Peace, and carrying the message, “Peace on earth to men of good will.”
The five holes in the sand dollar represent the five wounds of Christ on the cross, four from nails and one from a Roman spear.
On the front of the sand dollar is a flower that resembles the Easter lily, a symbol of Christ’s resurrection.
And on its back is a flower resembling a poinsettia, which has its own Christmas legend – the star-shaped leaf pattern represents the star of Bethlehem, the red leaves represent the blood of Christ shed at the crucifixion and the green leaves represent the resurrection.
Collect as many sand dollars from the beach as you want for your Christmas tree, but take only the white, smooth ones, not the brown, fuzzy ones, which are still alive.
And pass on the legend of the Christmas sand dollar.