The Importance of Christmas Colors


The traditional red and green colors of Christmas have a long and rich history rooted in both paganism and Christianity. To celebrate Saturn, the god of agriculture, Romans set aside the days from December 17 to December 25 as special holidays. Exchanging greenery such as holly and ivy was a way to wish one another long life, peace and good luck. Early Christians chose to stamp this tradition with a more spiritual emphasis. They renamed it Christmas as a mass for Christ, and red became the sacred color associated with His sacrificial life and death.

Throughout the years, green, the color that represents life, nature, peace, eternity and the hope of the future, has been important, especially to families trying to survive the harsh conditions that winter brings. Whether this has meant decorating a house with palm branches in Egypt, bringing in an evergreen Christmas tree in Germany or stringing green garlands across a fireplace mantle in Vermont, this color is a reminder that the earth may appear asleep, but spring and reawakening are just a few short months away.

While red is an important symbol of Christ's birth and death, it also reminds the world to celebrate His selfless love and sacrifice. Holly berries, the red robes of church bishops, and red apples on the pine trees of medieval miracle plays were the forerunners of Rudolph's red nose, and Santa's familiar crimson suit. In Mexico, the beloved red poinsettia is a common Christmas decoration that reminds families of the star that hovered over Bethlehem so long ago. The red amaryllis and Christmas cactus also bring this beloved color into the season. In Argentina, red and white garlands are hung over doorways during November and December.

Although trends are slowly changing, red and green remain the most universally accepted colors of Christmas, but they are not alone. Gold, silver, white and blue also have a place at many festivities. Gold is symbolic of the one of the gifts brought by the magi to the Christ child and of the star that led them from the East. Find this warm, rich color in every crackling fireplace and flickering candle light.

Pairing gold with black is one of the sophisticated new Christmas decorating choices for 2012. Think black tree with gold garlands and ornaments, gold candles sitting on black holders, and gold tablecloths with black dinnerware. This look is sophisticated and elegant and the perfect setting for an adult holiday dinner party. If gold and black seems a bit too edgy, what about using a deep golden yellow as your foundation color this year? Enjoy its warm glow, and create a magical appeal with lots of glitter.

For a more "Winter-Wonderland" approach, consider a white or silver tree with retro orange, pink, red and purple decorations. Silver and green together also creates an exciting icy effect. A still-popular choice from 2011 is turquoise with sky-blue and violet. Gray and cream, white and brown, and blue and black are other striking alternatives to the usual Christmas reds and greens. As long as you are able to capture those traditional holiday feelings of love and celebration, your Christmas decor can be every bit as unique as you are.


Grab Website Colors

Popular Color more


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and keep up to date with our new articles and updates

Latest Articles

From Kids' Coloring Pages to Adult Coloring Books, a Brief History

In the spring of 2015, adult coloring books hit the American market, climbing quickly to the top of Amazon's Best Seller list.

Read More

Wedding Colors

Colors are an important part of weddings.

Read More

Working with Pantone's New Colors of the Year

For the first time in the 16 years that Pantone has been announcing its “Color of the Year,” two complementary, mid-tone shades are sharing this prestigious honor.

Read More

Picking the Perfect Gemstone Jewelry for Your Christmas Gift List

With holiday gift giving just around the corner, the current color trends in jewelry might be fairly predictable: Everyone loves the sparkle of the traditional reds available in ruby, garnet and tourmaline, and the greens of emerald, peridot and tsavorite.

Read More

What About Tesla's Limited Car Paint Colors?

Although most people will not immediately recognize them, all-electric Tesla cars are quietly gaining in popularity as they travel the highways and roads of the United States and abroad.

Read More

Which 2015 Summer Wedding Colors Are Right for You?

After answering that special proposal with an exuberant "I do," most brides are quickly confronted with the next most important decision: "What should I choose for my summer wedding colors?"

Read More

Finding the Right Apple Watch Color for Your Lifestyle

This year, April will not only be welcoming colorful spring flowers, it will also debut the new, equally colorful Apple Watches.

Read More