Christmas colors may depend on what’s availableChristmas is Tuesday. We’re bombarded with lists from the 2012 year along with lists of what to expect in 2013. And one list recently released is one about colors from this year and next.
By: Sharon Cox, The Jamestown Sun
Christmas is Tuesday. We’re bombarded with lists from the 2012 year along with lists of what to expect in 2013. And one list recently released is one about colors from this year and next.
We’ve gone through Pantone’s Tango and Honeysuckle over spring and summer and looks like the first color of 2013 is a color that would fit well into the colors of Christmas present: Pantone’s Number 17-5641: Emerald. It’s a vibrant mid-value green that pulls you in like the gem it’s named after. Combine that fresh green with Honeysuckle pink and you’d have a modern version of traditional colors of the holiday season.
The reds and greens of Christmas are Pantone’s “Poinsettia” (Pantone’s number 17-1654) and Pantone’s “Evergreen,” number 19-5420. Each is a rich, jewel-toned beauty with intense depth. They’re the descriptive colors of the plants for which they were named. But newer colors on the modern palette may be lighter in value (such as a more pinky or orangey red, and a paler or grayer green).
The combination of value changes or neutrals makes the mix very “today” and simultaneously traditionally familiar because they’re still red and green.
Those natural colored plants of this holiday have run through a gamut of changes over time, but still hang onto the primary red and greens of the season.
Add the Christmas story’s kings’ gifts of gold and silver, and we have a broad spectrum of vibrancy. Give it some illumination and it becomes a hypnotic spectrum hanging on a traditional spruce.
And anything color-related pulls memories of mom. She described her first memories of walking downtown at Christmas as colorful. It was a time when rivers were used for moving products from town-to-town. Electricity was new. Few trees had wax candles, much less strings of lights, so store windows were dressed in current clothing of the day (which was Art Deco at that time). She described the modernity of silver and black, of shiny metals and new colors such as “puce.” She looked dreamy-eyed remembering those days as a young working woman who sewed silk slips for wealthy ladies.
Our experiences as mother and daughter were of her baking in the kitchen — not shopping and urban settings. Our colors were cookies and icings, not decorations at Macys. If we had red it was always from black raspberries from the farm, where during the summer before, she and I would can the blackest of berries that produced the purest purples and crimsons available in nature.
Our cookies were fruit-flavored, disguised with pure vanilla, mint, cinnamon or anise. But the reds varied depending on her summer canning. There was no set of McCormick food colors. We colored foods using what was available from summer’s wealth. She knew better than to spend money on anything not considered useful, so buying something just for looks was unforgiveable. But we had pinks and reds, purples and some greens from the juice left over in our jars. Our cookies looked festive and were colorful. Mom even colored sugar using raspberry juice. As lovely as any on store shelves. Like the colors from everyone’s childhood, they were the best of all.
Today, as I drive downtown, past the lights outlining the buildings on Main Avenue, thoughts go back to my mom and how we’d snuggle at one of the windows in one of the cities where we lived, looking towards town, where all the lights were shining, and how her stories poured out and became mine. And there were no named colors, like Pantone’s. Just red and green and the varied colors of snow as lights reflected back their softness as evening turned to night. Christmas was always memories, stories and colors. Here’s wishing you an abundance of all colors.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.