The Cultural and Emotional Meaning Of Christmas Colour: Green, Red, and Gold.  

Glittering colours of Christmas

Close your eyes and think of the colours of Christmas.

Go ahead… take a few moments to bask in your childhood memories and time spent with your loved ones.

 If you’re like me, you probably imagine an array of gorgeous red, green, and golden twinkling lights and decorations.

 We’ve all come to embrace these traditional Christmas colours that decorate our trees, homes and towns, but have you ever wondered why the colours green, red, and gold have become significant symbols of Christmas?

 Pour yourself a mug of mulled wine, hot chocolate, or cuppa tea and keep reading as we delve into the origins of these Christmas colour traditions.

 The Origins Of Christmas Colours

 Even though we live in the Southern Hemisphere, and experience glorious sun at this time of year, you’ll probably find yourself drawn to holiday movies set in a winter wonderland! This makes sense considering Christmas originated from the frosty cold northern hemisphere seeking some light and hope in the depths of winter.

Green Was Used Before Christ

 For thousand of years, before Christ, evergreen plants such as Holly, Ivy, and Mistletoe have been used to liven up and brighten homes throughout the long dark winters.

 Seen as “magical” plants, which seemed to thrive throughout the dark, cold winter season, evergreen plants became symbols of life and growth.

These days the most common use of green at Christmas is our Christmas trees which are decorated and strung up with an adornment of gorgeous lights, precious ornaments and special star or angel toppers.

While our trees seem to get brighter each year, it started quite humbly in fact with Pagans who used trees in their homes to symbolise a flourishing upcoming spring season.

The Pagan tradition spread all throughout Europe and gradually became part of the Christian celebrations. The Christmas tree made it’s way to England (from Germany) at the request of Queen Victoria who encouraged her German husband Albert to decorate a tree for their children as Albert had done in his childhood.

The trees were traditionally decorated with red fruits such as apples, nuts, sweets, and holly.

As a child growing up in Ireland we used the dark, green, shiny holly with little red berries to bring colour and life into our homes. My father would go for a long walk out over the fields and come back with bunches which we carefully placed over pictures and on the mantel of the fireplace!


       Christmas Colour Therapy.


When we think about the holistic healing practice of colour therapy, it’s interesting to see how these Christmas colours have a particular significance.

Green represents growth, life, renewal and regeneration. Emerald green helps to heal the heart including painful memories from the past even from childhood. It opens the diaphragm and creates an open environment and sense of expansion.

Red brings warmth, passion and fire. It’s strong and encourages action and inspiration. Red connects us into the earth and to all things material and physical. It is our spiritual connection to the manifestation of our physical experience 

White comes in to clean everything and represents purity, light and goodness. On the surface Gold adds some glitz and glamour but actually goes much deeper. Gold symbolises wisdom, knowledge and light and enhances our connection to abundance.


Most of the time when we notice colours in our environment, we don’t tend to give much thought to it, we just see it and go on with our days without paying attention to how it affects us mentally and emotionally.

So stop and don’t only smell the pine trees this Christmas, take time to truly see them. Enjoy each and every colour and light. There is a whole story going on; from the healing of the past to connecting to the present, cleansing and clearing and preparing us for the New Year ahead so we can step forward with confidence and cheer.