The Colors of Christmas- How the Colors of Red and Green Came to Be

By Jake Fischer |

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The Colors Behind Christmas- How the Traditional Colors of Red and Green Came to Be!

There's no doubt that you’re tired of hearing the word ‘unprecedented’ over and over again this holiday season. So, instead of focusing on the ‘unprecedented’ year that was 2020, we decided to highlight the very noted colors that accent the Christmas season. As Nashville’s premier commercial printer, we use these colors every single day in nearly every banner, brochure, and marketing material that we print.  Have you ever considered why we use these colors? What is the significance behind them? How did these traditions begin? We will explore these stories and more in this blog as we, at Fidelity Offset, wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


The story of green is rather debated and wildly unknown, but it seems clear that there are three leading reasons for the color green being used, the leading of which is the color of the ever-so-popular holly tree. Holly is largely associated with Christmas because of the Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Romans. These Romans would likely celebrate this tradition within a week or so of the date we now celebrate Christmas on December 25th. Additionally, holly is very thorny and is commonly associated with the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus. In 2020, it’s almost impossible to imagine the Christmas season without the colorful red berries that vividly pop from the dark green of holly. Commercial printers, like Fidelity, generally have to stock up extra green and red ink around the holiday season to meet the influx of demand for red and green Christmas Cards and advertisements surrounding the month of December.


Red, in opposition to green, is not as commonly associated with Christmas throughout the history of traditional society. Red has a very unique story that is likely attributed to the rise of Coca-Cola in the early 1930s! Before the rise of Coke in American culture, it was quite common to see Santa dressed in blue or green! But Coke, in 1931, hired an artist to design an advertisement with Santa drinking a Coke. This advertisement featured Santa wearing the bright red robes featuring the official color of the Coca-Cola logo. Because of the popularity of the advertisement and brand in American culture, society accepted the fat and jolly man in bright red as their new Santa.

Commercial printing and mass marketing go hand in hand, so it’s no secret that the industry left its mark on the holiday itself. Now, with the advancements of digital and offset printing, we can quickly and easily print thousands of prints on the same day as they are ordered. Historically, though, printing presses made celebrating the season with festive cards and advertisements an expensive and slow process.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your friends at Fidelity Offset! However you celebrate the holiday season, we hope that health and happiness find you in your home this season.