Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Did You Know: Part II

The colors of Christmas are something we all can recognize, no matter what time of year it is. In fact, when my red and green Mike & Ikes get together, I can't help but be reminded of the Christmas season. These two colors, red and green, are deeply ingrained in our culture and througout the World as a common symbol of Christmas.

So where do the colors originate? Who made this decision and how did they know it would be huge hit!?

Historically, the birth of Christ has been celebrated and remembered for as long as man can recall. In the early 1300's folks would act out stories and participate in large re-enactments together as a way to remember. In addition, most common people were illiterate, and this was a great way to get everyone on the same page and establish religious understanding.

On December 24th, it was customary to act out the story of Adam and Eve. The church would tell of the Garden of Eden and all the details of how man came to be, according to the Holy Bible. Unfortunately, during the winter months it was nearly impossible to find a tree which bore fruit. So some smart folks who knew how to brainstorm, decided an evergreen with apples tied to it's branches would suffice. In light of things, this tree became known as the Paradise Tree.

Throughout the fourteenth century the Paradise Tree's popularity took off and people decided they wanted one for their homes. The tree could be found in town square, church and in local businesses. The tree's color of green and apple's color of red became a vital part of custom and tradition for it was to be seen everywhere!

On top of all of that, the church decided that the tree and apples, or green and red, should have religious connotations (which is totally understandable, considering Christmas is a religious holiday). So as many of you may know, the green of the tree represents eternal life. And the red represents the blood that was shed by Christ. Without the red, one cannot have the green.

In summary, I'm thankful our illiterate friends in the fourteenth century were creative in their efforts to learn more about Biblical stories. Honestly, the birth of Christ is fascinating and the heart-strings can't help but feel the magic and wonder of Christmas. Without these stories being told and creative elements being added to help us understand, would Christmas still have the same wonder and magic for us today?

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. - Luke 2:12

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