Let’s play word association:  red and green.  What do you think of?  Chrismtas, of course.  For as long as I can remember the traditonal colors for Christmas have been red and green.  Except for a little lapse in judgement one year with hot pink, I have been true to the traditon.

 

christmas-day

Like most traditions, the true, real story of how it began gets murky when you start trying to identify the origin of red and green as Christmas colors.  Some folks think it goes back to ancient times when the pagans used holly to symbolize the Winter solstice around December 21-22.  Well, Christmas is December 25th, so as tacky as it sounds, churches decided to “outmarket” the pagans, and started using holly in a big way, too-along with evergreen wreaths with  red berries, and red apples and evergreen boughs in bowls.  So, red and green it is!

Another popular theory is the poinsettia, but that really is a fairly new tradition.  It was introduced in the United States by Joel Poinsett, after seeing it in its native habitat, Mexico-where it was already widely used in Christmas decor.

By André Karwath aka Aka (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

After thinking about red/green for Christmas, I realized how far afield I have gone through the years.  Marching to that distant drummer one year, my Christmas decor was hot pink!  I saw a pink poinsettia and was inspired.   I think it was in rebellion of being the mother of 3 boys and never have a scrap of pink in my home.  Needless, to say, I was the only one who was enamored of my hot pink Christmas.  I tend to be a little more traditional these days, but go heavy with silver and gold-with splashes of red.  The ornaments for my tree are very traditional these days-the hot pink feathers went to Goodwill.