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Color Your World

Have you ever thought about how color affects your life? I've been framing some art lately, and stopped to wonder why I tend to gravitate towards certain colors. It led me to get googleicious on the subject. (like most things do nowadays) I realize this is a little random, but stay with me for a minute. I discovered some interesting nuggets, and there's a favorite color sound off at the end.

Holidays are associated with color. The red and green of Christmas represent the evergreens and holly berries. But did you know Santa was not always portrayed wearing the iconic red suit? Until "Sunny" Sundblom drew him for a Coca-Cola ad in 1931, jolly old Saint Nick was depicted as a thin, even spooky looking elf in tan, blue or green. Can you imagine that guy sneaking into your house on Christmas Eve? The screams of petrified children would be heard around the globe! Thank you Sunny.

Halloween was formally a festival where Celtics mourned their late relatives wearing the color black, and burnt fires to ward off roaming ghosts. Later, the Irish celebrated the myth of "Stingy Jack" (which is worth a read) and carved silly faces in beets, potatoes, and turnips. Pumpkins didn't come into the mix until they brought their tradition to America. That's when orange and green became associated with Halloween. Thank you America. Can you imagine carving a potato and sticking it on your front porch? There's nothing pretty about that picture.

St. Patrick's Day's original color was blue. It was the official color of the Order of St. Patrick, and he wore it regularly. It was replaced by green after it became the flag color of the Great Irish Rebellion, the Society of United Irishmen wore it as their uniform, and Ireland's nickname became the Emerald Isle. Can you imagine blue beer? It would probably take longer to fade from one's tongue after drinking mass quantities on St. Patrick's Day. So the heavy drinkers of green beer say thank you, Ireland.

Red has long been correlated with love and passion. It was an obvious choice for Valentine's Day. In the animal kingdom, females are attracted to males who have red on them. I suppose this is why the red 'power tie' is popular on human males. It's similar to a bird with a red throat. However, did you know that pink used to be a color associated with boys because it was considered a stronger color, and blue with girls because of its dainty qualities? Enter Barbie. She trademarked her famous hot pink hue and BAM! Women everywhere began wearing it. Barbie took over pink. Many girls thank you, Barbie.

UPS trademarked its signature brown. Cadbury did the same with purple, and 3M with canary yellow for their post-it notes. If you receive a gift in a Tiffany blue box, you automatically know where it was purchased. When certain fans in the Deep South sport black and white houndstooth, you know where their allegiance lies, and it all started with a hat. I researched the simple meanings of colors, and here are the results: Red-Passion, Yellow-Joy, Purple-Royalty, Gray-Safety, White-Reverence, Black-Power, Pink-Playful, Brown-Earth, Orange-Energy, Blue-Peace, Green-Nature. According to this, painting your bedroom brown might not be the most romantic thing to do. If dirt excites you, then go right ahead. Whatever floats your boat, my friends.

I also uncovered the rose color meanings. Men: pay attention! This is your public service announcement: Red-"I love you", White-young, innocent love, Pink-"thank you", Yellow-"We're friends", Orange-the rose of desire/ "I want you in my life", Purple-love at first sight, Cream-"I'm thinking of you". If you give your sweetheart yellow roses on Valentine's Day, there might be a tiff unless she requested that color. You will also want to abstain from giving your grandmother orange roses, unless they're her favorite color. If you're confused about how you feel, give a multi colored bouquet. There will be no chance of misinterpretation, and you'll come out smelling like a rose....pun intended.

Sound off time!! What's your favorite color? Does it make you feel like the forementioned description? I've always been a fan of purple. My bedroom is painted purple. I'm not royal, but I am related to Pocahontas, so there's that. Purple makes me feel like a queen, maybe that's why I like it. As the season starts to change, why not add a favorite color to your life? Paint a room, buy a shirt, hang a piece of art, add a throw pillow for heaven's sake. I think it's safe to say that we've had enough grey for awhile. Step off the safety cliff and spice it up this autumn. Go forth in joy and surround yourself with colors that make you happy!

"Sunny's" Santa.

My bedroom walls. Told you they were purple.

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