How to make a Christingle

Every year, all across the country and especially in Moravian Churches, Christingle celebrations bring people together to celebrate light, hope and community. This year, you may be joining in with others in a socially distanced way or online, or perhaps you are planning on celebrating Christingle on your own or with your household.

Wherever or whenever you are joining in, you’ll be part of a community of people sharing the light of Christ together and thinking about how to share that light with others.

Making your Christingle

You might have been sent everything you need to make a Christingle by your church or you may need to source the items yourself. (Don’t panic if you haven’t got the right ingredients to hand – we’ve got some ideas for making a Christingle from whatever you have below).

What you will need:

  • An orange
  • Red paper to make a ruff/frill – you can colour white paper red with crayons but red crepe paper works best
  • Kitchen foil or cling film to put round the base of the candle where it goes into the orange to protect the ruff (this is optional)
  • A small candle (it needs to be inserted in the orange)
  • Four cocktail sticks
  • Sweets (e.g. Dolly mixtures, jelly sweets or liquorice all sorts work well) or dried fruits to add to the cocktail sticks – both need to be soft enough to push a cocktail stick through
  • Scissors or a knife to make an incision in the orange

If you’re making a Christingle with children, you may want to use a smaller citrus fruit (eg satsuma) and to use a birthday candle instead of a larger one.

Safety tips

  • Wash your hands before handling the fruit and sweets
    (and keep hand sanitiser away from lit flames).
  • Make sure long hair is tied back.
  • Supervise children near cocktail sticks (sharp ends!) and lit candles.
  • Hold your Christingle upright and away from your body.
  • Keep any loose fabrics (scarves etc) away from your lit flame.
  • Don’t move around with a lit Christingle.
  • Always place your Christingle where you can see it and make sure it won’t
    fall over. Never leave a lit candle unattended.
  • Be careful when you put your candle out as hot wax can burn.

How to make a Christingle

  • To make the ruff/frill you can either cut a circle of red paper approx. 8cm in diameter or for a more elaborate ruff and make a small hole in the middle for the candle to go through cut a piece of red paper approx. 13 cm by 9 cm and fold it in half down the long end.  Then make small cuts from the folded end towards the loose ends leaving approx. 2 cm uncut.  Wind the ruff/frill round the bottom of the candle and secure with Sellotape and then separate down the individual bits of the ruff/frill.  This is a bit more fiddly to do but fun to experiment with and the end result looks lovely.
  • Alternatively you can just put a piece of red sticky tape around the middle of the orange.
  • Now cut a circle of kitchen foil or cling film about the same size as the red circle and wrap it round the base of the candle and ruff – this protects the ruff when the candle goes into the orange
  • Cut a small cross in the top of the orange, wedge the candle firmly into the orange.
  • Load four cocktail sticks with a mixture of dried fruits or sweets so that the points are covered and insert around the base of the candle.

Each element of the Christingle has a special meaning and tells the Christian story:

  • The orange represents the world
  • The red ruff/frill symbolises the love and blood of Christ.
  • The sweets and dried fruits represent all of God’s creation.
  • The lit candle represents Jesus’ light in the world, bringing hope to people who live in darkness.