Why red and green?
Fir trees, because of how they remained green during the winter solstice, were considered almost magical and therefore their green coloring came to signify everlasting life. Even before the birth of Jesus people created wreaths from the ‘evergreen’ trees and/or holly and hanged them upon their doors during the cold winter months for prosperity in the spring, and in ancient Rome people displayed wreaths on their doors to signify victory in battles.
This tradition continued, or was ‘rolled’ into ‘Christmastime’ when the church chose to celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th. The color red was then added to represent the blood of Christ.
My father’s favorite color was red. He was also a “Christmas Eve” shopper. I tried hard to get him to shop earlier, but finally had to concede it wasn’t going to happen. So no matter how many people I was expecting for dinner that night, I knew my Christmas Eve morning would be spent shopping with my dad for one particular present. A red dress for my mother. We deviated a bit over the years, a red skirt and jacket, or one year it was a red coat, but for the most part, it was always a red, somewhat fitted, dress. They were married for almost sixty years, and my mother always acted like that was the first red dress she’d ever received upon opening his package.
When my father died in 2007, I told my sister I was going to buy a red dress for the funeral, and that tumbled throughout the family. At dad’s funeral all the girls, right down to my granddaughter, not yet six months old, were dressed in red and the men of the family wore red shirt or ties. That year, though I didn’t buy it on Christmas Eve morning (I’ll always keep that morning sacred by not shopping), I bought my mom a red blouse, not wanting to try and replace dad’s gifts, but to keep the tradition going. And did so every year until this one. Mom passed away in June. While shopping the other day I saw a blouse she would have loved, so I bought it, and will wear it tonight with honor as the family gathers.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
And, I must take a moment to mention my next Harlequin Undone, Disobeying the Marshal goes on sale January 1, 2012.
El Dorado, Kansas, 1881
Marshal Cord Donovan believed he was married to his badge—until one incredible night in Florie Rockford's bed changed everything. When Florie unexpectedly arrives in town with a desperate warning for his safety, Cord is determined to show her that their spark burns so hot that one night will never be enough.
But Florie has returned with more than just a warning—the consequence of their passion defies all the lawman's rules!
A short excerpt:
Florie lowered onto the couch and took a deep breath. It was too late to turn back. She was here. Glancing up was a mistake. The way he cast those caring eyes at her had her heart pounding and her insides growing warmer by the second. The uncanny way he made her feel was scandalous for sure, and she’d thought of little else since he’d left her house three months ago.
Could she tell him everything? Right now, gazing at him, it was hard to think. She begged her senses to remain, and settled her gaze on his shoulder, the exact spot she’d dug out the bullet. “How’s your wound?”
A deep frown formed between his hazel eyes. “Fine. What did you want to tell me?”
Twirling and twisting, her mind sought to pull up something besides the images she treasured. The ones of them alone, together. The ones she dreamed of reliving.
“Florie?” He knelt down in front of her.
He was so handsome—and honorable. The urgency she’d felt back at the farm zipped through her, settling real terror in her chest. “Those men you were chasing that day you were shot. It was the Winter gang, wasn’t it?”
“Were they at your house?” he asked. “Did they do this to you?”
Fear burned her throat as she whispered, “They’re after you, Cord. They’re going to kill you.”
His hand cupped her cheek. “The Winter brothers won’t hurt me.” His gaze never wavered. “Answer me. Did they do this to you?”
“They might already be in town, Cord, you have to leave, or…” She bit her lips. The desire to wrap her arms around him and hold on was so strong she trembled from head to toe. She’d put his life in danger, and now she had to save him. Had to. “I came—”
That excerpt is just wonderful. Now you know of course I have to get that book to find out what happens to Cord! LOL (I love wounded heroes--I have one in every story I write just about.) That was such a sweet story about your mom and dad. My parents, too, were married for over 60 years. Mom always bought Dad a box of chocolate covered cherries, wrapped them and put them under the tree, symolizing a couple of lean years early in their marriage when that was his only present from her due to their shortage of money back then. No matter what else he got, he always got a box of those Chocolate covered cherries. I love these traditions of ours. I still buy a box of those every year and eat them over the holidays, and every time I do, I remember how he loved them. My dad passed away 4 years ago yesterday, on Dec. 23. My mom followed shortly after, on Jan. 12. I have so many fond memories of the holidays, and how much they both loved Christmas! I love the tradition your dad started of the red dress. And I love that you still wear red in honor of that. That's very very special. I hope your holidays are "merry and bright" and that you have an especially lovely Christmas, Lauri.
Lauri--what a sweet story about your parents. My mother, too, loved red, and she could carry it off because of her very black hair and black eyes--ever seen anyone with black eyes? My mother was a pretty woman. But she wouldn't allow any of us three girls to wear read--and so I don't, to this day.ReplyDelete
What precious memories you've shared with us...I loved every word.
And your new venture into the world of Harlequin! I am very impressed--and knowing you, you will have a fantastic career with them. Congratulations.
And Merry Christmas.
Lauri, I loved the excerpt and really loved the story of your parents. What precious memories--thanks so much for sharing them with us today!ReplyDelete
What wonderful memories to pass down to your family.ReplyDelete
My dad always bought my mom fancy dresses and clothes for Christmas that she rarely wore because she was a nurse and always wore a nurse's uniform for work and comfy clothes when home.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Oh,Cheryl, that is so sweet. My mother always bought my husband chocolate covered cherries, so I bought those for him this year, too. I'm glad you have such wonderful memories of your parents.ReplyDelete
Celia, I bet your mother was beautiful, and red would have been her color! Thanks for the congrats!
Thanks, Jacquie. I miss them everyday, but thank the Lord at the same time that he allowed me to have them as my parents.
Paty, fancy clothes must have been the 'gift' to buy for that generation!
Merry Christmas to all!
What a moving story. Thank you.ReplyDelete
One dear lady I knew who has sense passed away said often, "Red is for courage." I like that sentiment, too.
No fair stopping there, Lauri. Now I HAVE to buy the book.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jennifer, I like that sentiment, too.ReplyDelete
I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas!
Lauri--what a wonderful family tradition! When you love someone, they live on in your heart and mind forever. What a fabulous excerpt from "Disobeying the Marshal"--sounds like a terrific read : )ReplyDelete