Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Colors of Christmas - Countdown to Christmas - Day 12

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12th). I had hoped to make some Mexican food and read the Tomie de Paola book, The Lady of Guadalupe. However, by the time we did everything that we needed to do, the day had passed.

At any rate, in Mexico people celebrate the festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In the early 1500s Mary appeared to a peasant on his way to mass. Poor people saw this as a sign of their worth.

Stuffed and green for Christmas

Instead of having some Mexican food, I made - at Sophia's request - stuffed peppers. Basically, I boiled three green peppers until they were semi-tender. I made 6 cups of rice (3 cups of water and 3 cups of rice).

In a fry pan, I fried one pound of hamburger and one onion. Drained the fat. Added salt, pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, and 2 cans of condensed tomato soup. Heated that mixture and hot. Added the cooked rice and stir. Placed the cooked peppers and the rice mixture in a 9"x 13" pan. Baked for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


Advent Reading

Luke 1:38 - “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.


Christmas Joke

What kind of money do Santa's elves use?

Blue Elf Clogs
Elf shoes that I hand-embroidered.

(Jingle bills!)


Christmas Fact

Today we learned why green, red, and white are Christmas colors. The information came from Why Christmas.

Most of the colors and their meanings come from the western/northern European traditions and customs, when Christmas is in the middle of winter and it's dark and cold.

Green Star with 16 Points for St. Patrick's Day or Spring Celebrations
Green window star that I made.


Evergreen plants, like Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe have been used for thousands of years to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long dark winter. They also reminded people that spring would come and that winter wouldn't last forever!

The Romans would exchange evergreen branches during January as a sign of good luck. The ancient Egyptians used to bring palm branches into their houses during the mid-winter festivals.

In many parts of Europe during the middle ages, Paradise plays were performed, often on Christmas Eve. They told Bible stories to people who couldn't read. The 'Paradise Tree' in the Garden of Eden in the play was normally a pine tree with red apples tied to it.

Now the most common use of green at Christmas are Christmas Trees.

Red Starburst Christmas Window Star (or Early Valentine's Day Decoration)
Red window star. 

As mentioned above, an early use of red at Christmas were the apples on the paradise tree. They represented the fall of Adam in the plays.

Red is also the color of Holly berries, which is said to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross.

Red is also the color of Bishops robes. These would have been worn by St. Nicholas and then also became Santa's uniform!

Gold Still Peace
Gold window star that I folded.

Gold is the color of the Sun and light - both very important in the dark winter. And both red and gold are the colors of fire that you need to keep you warm.

Gold was also one of the presents brought to the baby Jesus by one of the wise men and traditionally it's the color used to show the star that the wise men followed.

Silver is sometimes used instead of (or with) gold. But gold is a 'warmer' color.

4 White Snowflake Stars for Winter and Christmas Decorations
A set of window stars that I created.

White is often associated with purity and peace in western cultures. The snow of winter is also very white!

White paper wafers were also sometimes used to decorate paradise trees. The wafers represented the bread eaten during Christian Communion or Mass, when Christians remember that Jesus died for them.

White is used by most churches as the color of Christmas, when the altar is covered with a white cloth (in the Russian Orthodox Church Gold is used for Christmas).

Blue 5 Pointed Star
A five pointed star with sharp points.

The color blue is often associated with Mary, the mother of Jesus. In medieval times blue dye and paint was more expensive than gold! So it would only be worn by Royal families and very rich people. Mary was often painted wearing blue to show she was very important.

Blue can also represent the color of the sky and heaven.

During Advent, purple and sometimes blue is used in most churches fort he color of the altar cloth (in the Russian Orthodox Church red is used for advent).

1 comment:

Rita said...

Interesting about the colors and I LOVE your window stars!! :)