Red, green, and gold may be the traditional colors of Christmas, but I’m partial to the combination of blue and green.
It all started back in the last century when I was three years old. I have a really good memory of my very young years and many clear memories of my third Christmas.
We lived in a little shotgun house — calling it a shack would not be wrong — next to the BBF restaurant on Robinson Avenue in Portsmouth, Ohio. Mom couldn’t afford a Christmas tree, so she took apart some sort of aqua-colored egg cartons to create a tree shape and trimmed it with some blue/green Garland from the A& P. Electric blue and green was a popular color combination back in those days. She hung it up on the wall, and that was our tree.
That year, Christmas was pretty much courtesy of the A&P. They had their own version of Green Stamps, which I remember as being yellow. For those of you too young to remember Green Stamps, they were the equivalent of rewards points or a loyalty card these days. Stores handed out the stamps with purchases, and you pasted them into stamp books. The filled books could be mailed in and exchanged for items in a catalog. Mom had saved all of her stamps, and my aunt and some other family friends had contributed theirs so she could cash them in for toys for me. That was the year I got my Dollykin fashion doll and a little orange plastic tea set with sunflowers on the plates.
The next year, we upgraded to a 4 ft. artificial tree from Hart’s Department Store and two boxes of “unbreakable” plastic ornaments. My practical mom reused the blue/green garland for several years, though eventually, she upgraded to gold to match the plastic ornaments and used the blue/green garland to trim the door and pin Christmas cards to. If you look closely at this faded photo, you’ll see the garland on the tree. By this time, we’d upgraded to a comfortable apartment in a public housing project.
I decorated with that garland every Christmas as I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachians, dreaming of being a writer.
My mom passed away while I was in college, and I stored my Christmas ornaments in my aunt’s basement. Unfortunately, most of them were lost to basement flooding. However, I still have Santa and his red reindeer that are sitting on the TV.
I’ve always enjoyed bringing touches of blue and green into my Christmas decorating. This year, I got a little click happy and just went for it.
I ordered a 6 ft. teal tinsel tree and 500 blue and green LED ultra-bright lights. I paid way too much for it, and I really don’t care. Because these, my friends, are the colors of Christmas.