December 08, 2011

5 Colorful Minutes

(Disclosure: This actually turned out to be 9 minutes worth of writing. I had a lot to say on this one!)

5-Minute Friday is here again ALREADY!  My, doesn't the old globe spin round.  And our prompt word for today is a personal favorite of mine--color.  I love beautiful colors.  My SuperToddler loves to color, as much as I ever did, and still do, for that matter.  My definitions of colors are still set by the box of Crayolas I used to have, whether they're politically correct or not--Indian red, burnt orange, cadet blue.  So, with a word I can truly enjoy to guide me, I dive into today's five minutes of unbroken writing.  And...start.

Photo by Shawn Alton

The Christmas we had the year I was four is the first one that I can remember.  But then, that Christmas stands out in EVERYONE'S mind in my family.  We often refer to it simply as "THE Christmas," the one when everybody managed to have a good fiscal year at once, and the presents stood out so far around the tree that a grown man couldn't REACH the tree without clearing a path through them first!  But of course, that was the Christmas at Grandma's house, the big family gathering.  It was the smaller Christmas at the parsonage, owned by the church where my dad was the pastor, that established for me the idea that Christmas has a color.

I don't know why or whose idea it was originally, but my parents decided that year that they would have an entirely red Christmas.  Red on the tree, red decorating the outside of the house and the big bay window.  I remember so clearly, standing in the living room, listening to Dad grunting and tugging and fixing until he got those lights strung and working properly.  The whole house seemed red!  I even got a beautiful red toybox that year.  It seemed like a warm, inviting color, a Christmas atmosphere that conveyed love and merriment and all the things I loved about the season.  I wore a red wool dress to Grandma's house for the meal with the extended family, a pretty little dress with green and white stripes and accents.  It was a red Christmas all the way around.

Anyone who has had a 15-minute conversation with me can probably tell you that blue is my favorite color, to the point that it might be called a passion or even an obsession.  But the other night, as I was driving home from the grocery store, I saw some houses with mostly or all blue Christmas lights on them, and I felt repelled by them somehow.  Suddenly I realized--Christmas has a color!  At least, it does for me.  Christmas should be red, with green and yellow and white and a host of other colors shaded in, but mostly, Christmas is red.  That lifelong memory is so indelibly set in my brain that everything about my Christmas feels warmer, brighter and happier with plenty of red attached.  Memories like that are the best bridge across miles, decades, and even the gap between Heaven and Earth, to draw your loved ones near to you, no matter how far away they are.


  1. I can picture you in the little red wool dress. Christmas is red for me too. Thanks for a lovely post.

  2. Yes, Christmas is definitely red! I'm not a fan of how in my hometown some of the hotels are using all the new LED lights with have a very decidedly blue cast. At the very least it should be the warm yellow of the old style bulbs! ;)

  3. I agree, too! Christmas is red! Thank you for sharing the memory!

  4. Color is a beautiful word and a beautiful topic! Great post!

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

  5. Yes, I agree, Christmas is definitely a red holiday. Though green is good too. Red and green are actually my two favorite colors so I don't have any problem decorating at Christmas. :)

    I think the old fashioned large bulb Christmas lights are the best.

  6. I'm not a fan of red, yet Christmas isn't the same for me without the colour red. Thanks for sharing your Christmas memories.


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