December 26, 2018

Colours of Christmas by Marnie Pohlmann

My small writing group once did a paint chip exercise. We pulled a paint chip out of a pile and were to write about Christmas being that colour. I pulled orange.

I'm not a fan of orange in the first place, but to think of an orange Christmas? Blechh! I don't remember what I wrote in that five minutes, but I'm sure it was not praise for a tree decorated in orange.

It seems these days orange would be an acceptable Christmas colour, as is pink, teal, and yellow. What happened to the traditional colours of Christmas? The songs sing about - gold and silver, green, white, and red? The traditional ones have meaning for Christmas. Do these new colours?

I'm sure you've heard the story of the candy cane, how the red can represent Christ's blood, and the stripes can represent the punishment of the whip that Christ endured on our behalf. Are you familiar with the evergreen fir history? Both pagans and Christians have used it to decorate their homes for the winter celebration. I did not look up why pagans use it, but for Christians, the green tree represents everlasting life. Wreaths, too, are formed of evergreen boughs in a round shape to show the eternal circle of eternal life with God. Poinsettias have become a Christmas flower, again because of the red and green leaves.

As you enjoy your decorations, whatever colour you desire, take a moment to reflect on how your colours and ornaments reflect your belief that the babe in the manger brought salvation to our world.

A Christmas colour that has a bad rap at Christmas but is becoming dear to me, is blue. As you know, I have struggled with SAD, depression, and PTSD for the last few years. Feeling blue at Christmas is more common than we might think. Perhaps you have experienced a blue Christmas. Or perhaps you have enjoyed this Christmas season but today, Boxing Day, when all the excitement is over, and everyone is tired from late nights, sadness has come in for a visit.

Be assured, however, that sadness is a feeling of the current, not a fact of the future, and blue is a colour, not a lasting condition. So, when faced with the blues at Christmas, or any other time of the year, there are a few things you can do to endure through. You are familiar with most of these, I am sure.

Lower your expectations of perfection or how you wanted activities to go. Have a nap. Eat something healthy. Read an uplifting book. Listen to happy music - not Christmas carols. Go for a walk. Write in your journal. Do something creative. Having the blues can slip into dangerous depression but blue does not need to be a fearful colour.

The most healing action I found for myself is to re-define the blue. You see, blue is as precious a Christmas colour as red or green. Have you noticed?

Mary, the young mother of Jesus, is most often portrayed wearing blue. Is that because she is sad? I don't think so. I think blue is a colour of reflection. Scripture tells us Mary treasured the various and precious moments of that first Christmas in her heart. She took time to reflect on them, to wonder at their meaning, to be in awe of the role she was asked to take part of in raising the promised Messiah. Blue is a colour of trust in God's faithfulness.

Yes, blue is becoming my favourite Christmas colour, despite the associated feelings.

I just don't think I can do the same with orange...

*photos compliments of Pixabay CCO license

Marnie is enjoying Christmas with her grandchildren this year. 
May God bless your holiday season and the coming year of 2019.


  1. Blessings to you, too, friend, and may God's peace envelop you in these 'after' days of the season.

  2. Marnie, what a lovely, colourful and timely post. I hover between loving the season, and wanting to get through it as there are many sad nostalgic moments. I really connected with this powerful line: "Be assured, however, that sadness is a feeling of the current, not a fact of the future." That is one to remember.
    Overall the color of Hope shines through for me at Christmas. (I don't think I could go with orange either-except for eating those lovely mandarins!!) All the best for the New Year!!

  3. I am fond of blue too, Marnie, and I don't think of it as a colour of depression. I like your idea of blue being a colour of reflection and I appreciate the way you connect this to the ponderings of Mary the Mother of Jesus. I see a connection between what you are saying and where Gloria Gust is going in her December blog, "The Choice to Ponder."

    As for orange, I think I'm stuck on Mandarin oranges too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, "Mamie." Your grandma name might stick to you. Blessings in the New Year.


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