A Blue Christmas?
Are you thinking about decorating for Christmas? Consider featuring the color blue for a touch of quiet elegance.
The color Blue is peaceful and soothing and reflects the spirit of the season when used to decorate for the holidays, but its appeal and significance goes deeper than that. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is often shown wearing a blue cloak. Not only does the blue represent the sky and heaven - it signifies Mary's importance because, in Medieval times, blue dye was very expensive and, like purple, was restricted only to royalty and the wealthy.
Blue lights are also favored by families that may also celebrate the Jewish holidays as blue (with silver) has come to be the color of Chanukah as a result of the practice of using blue threads woven into prayer shawls, which dates back to biblical times.
For secularists, blue is popular because it represents the natural beauty of the cold winter season with snow covered landsapes, frozen lakes and ponds, and icicles hanging from the eaves of houses.
Whether you celebrate the Winter Solstice as a secular or religious tradition, blue lights are popular. From indoor and outdoor Christmas lights to ornaments and stockings, you're sure to find just the right blue hued holiday decorations here.
So make yourself comfy and spend a little time perusing our page about why and how to use the color blue to mark and celebrate the season.
The Magic of Blue Christmas Decorations
Blue Christmas Décor somehow seems less crass and commercial than the glaring red and green that is ubiquitous at the holiday season – which starts earlier every year. (A trip to my local pharmacy in September revealed an aisle of Santas and Tinsel right next to the more appropriately seasonal Halloween merchandise.)
Blue decorations somehow say “Stop. Slow Down. And remember the real reason for the season.” Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, or any other early winter holiday, there is a natural, practical reason why lights feature so prominently in all of these.
The Symbolism and Roots of Holiday Traditions
The celebration of Christmas and other seasonal traditions have ancient roots and deep symbolism across cultures and millennia. Fires, candles, pentagrams, and Yule logs are lit to welcome the re-birth of the sun. The symbolism is ostensibly religious but inherently primal.
The winter solstice, in the northern hemisphere falls on December 21st. The shortest day of the year, in terms of amount of daylight, it marks the beginning of winter and the slow return of longer periods of light between sunrise and sunset. Since ancient times, this milestone has been celebrated as the rebirth of sunlight – of longer times of brightness and blue skies.
Blue lights express the coming of skies visibly blue for longer, and of both the religious and secular sanctity of the season.
A Brief History of Electric Christmas Lights
Thomas Edison, who everyone knows invented the light bulb, was also the first to create a string of electric lights in 1880. He strung these around his Menlo Park laboratory so that people riding the railroad that went past the building could see the display.
Two years later, Edward H. Johnson, Edison's partner and vice president of his company, hand-wired 80 specially made small red, white and blue light bulbs and wound them around his Christmas tree. Not only did the lights twinkle, but the tree sat on a motorized box (powered by an Edison generator) that rotated it so it was visible all around.
Although these were, in large part publicity ploys, people were still somewhat suspicious of this new-fangled technology called electricity. That and the extravagant price of early strung lights, first available in 1890, did not favor acceptance of replacing candles with light bulbs.
In those early years of strung Christmas lights, one strand cost more than most people earned in a week, so they became a status symbol for the wealthy.
Not ony were they labor intensive because they had to be hand wired individually and then strung together, they needed a power source - and generators and batteries were also very expensive. In fact, an 1884 New York Times article referred to electric Christmas lights as being extravagant.
It was not until the 1920s-30s that electric lighting for Christmas decorating became practical for the general public to use. It was during the late 1920s that GE first initiated contests for the best use of these colorful strands of light for Holiday decoration, but the practice of using them did not really catch on until the 1950s post-WWII era, with its economic growth and expanding suburbia. Perhaps, more than anything else, the extravagance of strings of lights helped to counter the dismal and traumatic nature of war, providing a touch of magic and a sense of hope for returning soldiers and their families and, indeed, the entire country.
Safety Tips for Holiday Lighting
Although current technological advances have made holiday lighting safer than ever, you still need to follow some precautions.
Follow manufacturer's instructions when stringing a number of light sets together. The number of sets that can safely be sequentially connected varies by type of light (ordinary miniature, LED, Hallogen, fiber optic, or the larger C7/C9 types of bulbs).
Most light sets come with built in fuses to safeguard against overheating and to prevent tripping household circuit breakers. Be sure to unplug the lights if a fuse is blown. Some sets will come with extra fuses in case you need to replace one. You may should also reduce the number of sets you have connected together.
If you are using light sets from a previous year, be sure to check for bare wires before putting them up. If wires are bare, string should be discarded.
NOTE: If using a single strand OR if a fuse blows repeatedly, the lights may have a short circuit and should be repaired or discarded.
The Mysteries of the Color Blue
The color blue is the favorite color of most people around the world. It signifies trust, order, and security which, in terms of the winter solstice, reinforces the belief and hope of the return of the sun (and to Christians, not coincidentally, the Son) and warmth.
Blue lights convey the magic and mystery, the peace and tranquility, of both season and psyche. It’s true. In 2000, when Glasgow, Scotland, installed blue streetlights in some areas, crime rates went down.1 In 2009, the East Japan Railway installed blue lights in an attempt to reduce suicide.2
This is not as far-fetched as it may sound. The color blue is considered both cool and soothing, which captures and reflects both the temperature and temperament. Studies have shown that the color Blue can actually lower blood pressure and create a feeling of calm.
Color psychologists tell us that shades of blue are associated with truth, dignity, wisdom, creativity, and steadfastness. It is related to loyalty, honesty, and reliability, and fosters friendliness, sociability, and caring for the needs of others.
- Blue streetlights believed to prevent suicides, street crime. The Seattle Times. 2008-12-11.
- Will Blue Lights Reduce Suicides in Japan?” Kenji Hall, Bloomberg Business Week, Nov. 5, 2009.
Which Color do You Prefer for Holiday Decorating?
If Blue is Your Favorite Color You Won't Want to Miss This!
No wonder blue is the most perennially popular home décor color! If blue is your favorite color, you are in the majority. Blue is the most universally preferred color...
Thank You For Visiting Our Blue Christmas Decorations Hub
Have you ever decorated with a color theme? Do you like blue Christmas decorations?
We'd love to know what you think.
© 2012 Chazz
Share your Thoughts about Blue Decorations for Christmas
AstroGremlin on December 23, 2012:
Blue Christmas decorations are nice. Some very tasteful picks.
avigarret on December 21, 2012:
These are truly beautiful, I don't celebrate christmas but it's hard not to admire these, thanks for sharing.
Chazz (author) from New York on December 20, 2012:
@BLouw: It was hard to resist but I just felt it was too sad for this lens and wasn't the mood I was trying to convey.
Barbara Walton from France on December 20, 2012:
Blue Christmas (how can you resist adding that song?) a feast for the eyes and a joy.
Judith Nazarewicz from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on December 19, 2012:
Great lens! I love the blue! :-)
malena10 on December 19, 2012:
I like blue and silver combination of decorations.
Petzard on December 19, 2012:
I like blue color because is calming & beautiful;)
anonymous on December 17, 2012:
Great lens! Shared via Pinterest.
Hope Jay-Z sees it. Blue is his favorite color and his baby's name is Ivy Blue. Would be cool if he came to lens and shopped, huh? Happy holidays! :)
Gregory Moore from Louisville, KY on December 15, 2012:
Blue lights are all my daughter has been talking about. She wants to ditch all our Christmas decorations and replace them with everything-blue.
ikrave on December 14, 2012:
I love the blue. Thank you so much for a great lens!
malenacaty on December 12, 2012:
I like blue and silver combination for christmas.
Michey LM on December 11, 2012:
It looks great and you have gazillion accessories... love it!
Ruthi on December 11, 2012:
I was just telling a friend yesterday how I love blue lights and decorations on my Christmas tree. No doubt about it that Reed & Barton Blue Birds Ornament is gorgeous!
Thomo85 on December 11, 2012:
Blue is my favourite colour, I loved Avatar, Oh and those R2D2 lights are awesome.
LiliLove on December 11, 2012:
Really beautiful - love it!
Calvin_S on December 10, 2012:
Blue is one of my favorite colors!
Maria Burgess from Las Vegas, Nevada on December 10, 2012:
I love the ornaments you have featured here! That blue jay bird ornament is silly cute! =) Great lens!
pumpum on December 10, 2012:
cmadden on December 10, 2012:
That blue birds ornament is positively gorgeous!
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on December 10, 2012:
Aww,,, the R2-D2 lights are darling (my 10-year-old grandson is 'Star Wars' crazy right now and is having a 'Star Wars' dominant Christmas!). And I LOVE the Chicago Cubs 'blue' ornament -- go Cubbies! Blue is definitely my 'color' for Christmas!
dahlia369 on December 07, 2012:
Blue ornaments are beautiful and look very stylish with silver! :)
Spiderlily321 on December 07, 2012:
Very pretty. I love blue decorations for Christmas. Thanks for sharing this!
gyulaolah on December 07, 2012:
To be honest, we - my wife and me - are keen on the Blue decorations combined with silver. In my opinion this solution gives you a special feeling and so it can be accompanied with Christmas. I think Your lens is based upon a well deliberated, conscious construction, so nothing has been remained only to congratulate to this great job!
Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on December 06, 2012:
Very nice lens on blue christmas decorations. I like the hand painted Glass Bluebird ornament. Thanks for sharing.
Earnlat on December 06, 2012:
The very first ornament in amazing. I also love blue, "like the oceans"!!
darciefrench lm on December 06, 2012:
Blue lights for Christmas decorating are so beautiful
Bill Armstrong from Valencia, California on December 03, 2012:
Owe I need those star wars lights ;)
anonymous on December 03, 2012:
Blue is my favorite color! These blue Christmas decorations are gorgeous!
getmoreinfo on December 02, 2012:
Beautiful blue decorations, my favorite is the snowflake.
seosmm on December 02, 2012:
I love Blue. What a great idea for decorating!