The old Christmas celebrations used to last up to 12 days, as this was the time it took for the three wise men to reach the city of Bethlehem and deliver gifts (gold, myrrh and frankincense) to baby Jesus. Currently, people usually set up trees and other Christmas decorations in early December and take them down until 12 days after Christmas.
the colors of christmas
December 25th in the northern hemisphere is the height of winter. Thus, the color that is most evident in nature is the white of the snow, which covers the green of the trees. To keep warm during the winter, it is common to light fires and fireplaces in homes. Therefore, the gold and red of fire are colors that are linked to this time of year.
Traditionally, Christmas colors are red, gold, green and white. What few people know is that there is a reason for choosing these colors at this time of year. Each has a meaning, passed down through generations.
Red represents love. And because it is a warm color, it also means joy, which appears when love prevails between people. That’s why it’s the most important color of Christmas. For Catholicism, it is unconditional love, taught by Jesus, and represented by the blood of Christ.
Santa’s outfit is red, because he was based on the legend of Saint Nicholas, a bishop who distributed candy to children at Christmas. He, like all bishops, wore red robes.
Gold represents the sun, light and the presence of the divine. One of the gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus at birth was gold, in addition to frankincense and myrrh. Gold has always appeared on Christmas trees also with the star, which guided the path of the mages through the desert.
In antiquity, people used branches of pine, holly and ivy – plants that do not shed their leaves during the winter – to decorate the house in the cold and dark months of the year. It was a way of reminding everyone that winter wouldn’t last forever, and that spring would soon return. Green at Christmas is a symbol of hope, endurance and resilience. And today it appears not only in the foliage of wreaths and on the tree, but also in balls and ornaments.
White represents snow and cold, as well as purity and innocence. It is a symbol of rebirth. In Catholicism, it means the coming of the light of Christ to the world.
When we know the meaning of colors, decorating the house for Christmas takes on a new meaning, don’t you think? Feeling that we are filling the house with love, generosity, hope, at the same time that we are arranging everything to welcome family and friends. Is there a better way to enjoy the best time of year?