Tanja Cilia

Freelance Writer

The colours of Christmas

Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 11:23


Colour Pencils

Deck the halls with boughs of holly… And indeed, a surfeit of green and red fills many homes during Christmas time, rather as if no other colours existed.

Strictly speaking, no one who subscribes to the Feng Shui school of thought would go for red and green as the first choice of colours for home decorations at Christmastide; they would probably pick a light blue and cream, and pastel hues, for a calming atmosphere.

Be that as it may, red and greed still reign supreme in most homes during this season – for tradition’s sake as well as for other reasons. Indeed, the combination of red and green is what is usually understood by the term “Christmas colours”.

Green, of course is life. Transmuted to the Christian ideology, the greenery with which we decorate our homes symbolises eternal life…. despite that fact that most plants in use at Christmastide were held sacred to pagan deities.
Red, to the Christian, symbolises the blood of the Lord. To the more profane, it is the colour of Santa’s suit, and the berries on the holly…

In Feng Shui, red is used for many purposes – against listlessness, to alleviate respiratory tract conditions, to boost physical energy, physical strength, power and self-confidence. It is also associated with change, and the power of transformation.

Red also increases the appetite. This is something restaurant owners know full well – they have red tablecloths, because this also has the effect of making diners leave the place (leaving room for other diners) when they are satiated, because when the plates are cleared away they will not like facing a great amount of “simply red”.

However, some people associate red with the fire that wreaks havoc – and people find that more quarrels begin in rooms that have red walls, than in any other. Too much red, indeed, agitates some people to the point of violence.

Red is the stimulating, hot colour that invigorates the root chakra, and the circulatory system – apart from being the colour of desire and passion and blood disorders. It links to our basic needs of survival and security and is the colour of passion and desire.

In the typical minimalist fashion, therefore, with red it is good to remember that less is more. You wouldn’t want tempers to flare because you overdo the red bunting and bows.

Red must not be allowed to insinuate itself into the home with the excuse that you are ‘merely decorating’. Red demands attention and this is a time when you must be aware of the people in your home, and not the objects.

Green is the colour of balance, harmony, love, and self-control. If used judiciously, it will relax the muscles, thoughts, and nerves of the people in the environment. Green is unconditional love that balances the being, and makes for goodwill towards all mankind, because green governs the heart chakra.

Most Feng Shui practitioners will recommend placing something green near the windows that open onto a natural view, such that they unite the interior with the exterior, by making a part of the frame, hence the margins, of the window indistinct.

Green is a very versatile colour, ranging from the yellow-suffused lightest hues which convey a sense of freshness, to darker ones such as khaki green which make for relaxation and conversation. In Feng Shui, green is associated with feelings of happiness, fulfilment and self-reliance.


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Tanja Cilia

Freelance Writer

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