Christmas Green - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Green and red are colors that have been closely associated with Christmas for centuries..  Last week I shared how red became a Christmas color.  You can read that post here:  Christmas Red.  This week, green, the other Christmas color, is explored mainly through the symbolism of holly, mistletoe and evergreen trees.

 

 

 

Buffalo Plaid Dog Scrunchie Neck Ruffle, Red or Green, Handmade by Donna of SewAmazin

 

 

Green and Christmas have a pre-Christian origin, more specifically tied to the Winter Solstice.  Evergreen plants, like holly, mistletoe and pine, spruce or fir trees have been used for thousands of years to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long, dark, cold winter when life could be very tenuous.  Ancient peoples were scared of the short days and freezing nights when it was believed that the Sun could disappear altogether. Evergreens reminded people that spring would come and that winter wouldn't last forever.  Historical records show that the Romans wove wreaths of holly to hang on their walls and doors to celebrate the winter solstice / Saturnalia. They also exchanged evergreen branches as a sign of good luck. The ancient Egyptians would bring green date palm branches into their homes during their mid- winter festivals as a symbol of "life triumphant over death." To the ancient people, the color green represented life, nature, peace, eternity and the hope of the future.

 

 

 

Green Aventurine Gemstone Earrings with Oxidized Silver Spiral Detail Handmade by Pamela of PebblesatMyFeet

 

 

 

Holly:  

 

In Celtic mythology, the Holly King ruled from summer to winter solstice, representing the darker half of the year. Ancient Celts decorated their homes with holly, believing it to be a symbol of luck. Cultures all over Europe believed holly to be a strong protective plant and it was carried into the home to ward off negative energy during the winter months. Holly was usually hung on doors and windows to prevent the entry of witches and evil spirits. Early Christians recognized a deeper symbolism in holly by associating the leaves as the "crown of thorns" and the red berries as the blood of Christ. At around the 4th Century when the church began to celebrate Christ's birth on December 25, many Christians who had adorned their homes with wreaths of holly for the winter solstice, left the wreaths to decorate their homes during Christmas, as well. Because of this, the color green and wreaths of holly became associated with the birth of Christ.

 

 

 

Crocheted Teal Green Boho Bib Necklace with Brown Silk Flowers and White Pearls Handmade by Jacki of Christie Cottage

 

 

 

Evergreen Trees:  

 

Like the holly and the mistletoe, evergreen trees (mainly spruce, pine and fir) were ancient symbols of life in the midst of winter. Romans decorated their houses with evergreen branches.  Ancient inhabitants of northern Europe cut evergreen trees and planted them in boxes inside their houses in wintertime. Evergreen branches were placed on pillows to prevent nightmares.  And, when hung over a barn door, an evergreen bough was said to repel evil spirits.  The smell of cut evergreens also freshened the air of ancient homes (modern science has proven the aroma of pines and firs is both relaxing and invigorating).

 

Not until the Renaissance are there clear records of trees being used as a symbol of Christmas, beginning in Latvia in 1510 and Strasbourg in 1521.  “Paradise Plays”  depicting biblical themes were used as part of the church's worship ceremony.  The plays celebrating the Nativity were linked to the story of creation, in part because Christmas Eve was also considered the feast day of Adam and Eve. The Garden of Eden was symbolized by a “paradise tree”, an evergreen tree usually hung with red apples.  Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, people brought evergreen trees into their homes and churches set up trees in their sanctuaries symbolizing Jesus Christ, the “true evergreen,” despite the protests by some clergy.  Evergreen trees can withstand a severe winter and stay green; faith in God can withstand any temptation or trial and keep the soul evergreen.

 

 

 

Green, Brown, Red and Orange Indonesian Beaded Leather Boho Hoop Earrings Handmade by Gloria of Chrysalis Tribal Jewelry

 

 

 

Mistletoe:  

 

From the earliest times the green leaves and white berries of mistletoe have been one of the most magical, mysterious, and sacred plants of European folklore. The mistletoe of the sacred oak was especially revered by the ancient Celtic Druids, and the tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to them.  It was believed to possess mystical powers which would bring good luck and peace to the household and ward off evil spirits. Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Roman festival of Saturnalia and later with ancient marriage rites.  In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce or warring spouses kiss and make-up.  When the first Christians came to western Europe, some tried to ban the use of mistletoe as a decoration in churches and homes.  But many continued to use it, such as the York Minster Church in the UK which used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrong doers in the city of York could come and be pardoned under the mistletoe.

 

 

The items above and below are all artisan handcrafted with green as the major color. Each of them would make a perfect Christmas gift for even the hardest person to buy for. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Hand Knit Dark Sage Green Lace Ladies Boot Cuffs Handmade by Nancy of Nancy's Knots, Lace and More

 

 

 

Green and Turquoise Necklace with Ceramic Spiral Pendant and Jasper Handmade by Linda of Linda Landig Jewelry

 

 

 

Sparkling Forest Green and Brown Dichroic Fused Glass Clip On Earrings Handmade by Jo of Umeboshi Jewelry Designs

 

 

 

Green Rainforest Jasper and Ceramic Earrings Handmade by Kristi of Kristi Bowman Design

 

 

 

Green and Red Swarovski Christmas Ornament Earrings Handmade by Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs

 

 

I hope you enjoyed each and every one of these unique handmade creations created with green!  If you would like to make my day and the day of the talented artists featured, please leave a comment.  And any promotion you can do will be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

 

 

My contact information:

 

Indiemade shop:  ShadowDogDesigns

Indiemade blog:  ShadowDogDesigns’ Blog

Artfire studio:  ShadowDogDesigns

ArtFire Blog:  ShadowDogDesigns' Blog

Google+:  Catherine ShadowDog

Facebook:  ShadowDogDesigns - Jewelry

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Flickr:  Shadow Dog Designs' Photostream


 

SHADOW DOG DESIGNS

Beautifully Unique Handmade Jewelry

for the Discerning Woman

 

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Comments

I'm bookmarking both of your

I'm bookmarking both of your posts about Christmas red and now GREEN. Your post reminds us how our traditions around Christmas and evergreens started. As I look out over our dry high altitude park today, the Ponderosa pine, spruce, and fir tree provide earthy green note above parched brown grass. Sadly, the landscape is not white with snow as it should be. Thanks so much for including my green aventurine gemstone earrings in this holiday green collection. Best wishes to you.

Nice collection

Great gifts for Christmas.

Thanks

Thanks Catherine

Tweeted all

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Can't live w/o green!

I think green is one of my favorite colors! It symbolizes life to me and I love the quiet feeling of it. These are all such beautiful handmade things that make the best use of greens. Thanks for sharing. I will too.

Love the rich colors and

Love the rich colors and awesome items. All shared on pinterest. Thank you so much for including me.

Thanks Nancy

Green Really Says Christmas

Green is such an amazing color, especially at Christmas time! Thank you for including my earrings with these lovely gift ideas.

Thanks so much for including

Thanks so much for including Penny and our buffalo plaid pet scrunchie ruffle in this week's post! Love all the greens for Christmas!
Pinned, tweeted, etc.
Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to everyone!

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