The History of Red & Green

Deck the halls, trim the tree, stuff the stockings, and don’t forget to sing a little “FaLaLaLaLa” – Christmas is almost here! As you adorn your home with holiday cheer, you probably don’t have much time to stop and think about why your color scheme has suddenly become dominated by reds and greens – but don’t worry, we’ve got the history behind this iconic color combination right here!

House Beautiful

There are a couple of different explanations for the adoption of red and green as the Christmas colors, however the one that’s most accepted is the story of the Paradise Tree. This story dates back to the 1300s, when Adam and Eve’s Day was celebrated on December 24th.

As much of the general population was illiterate, local churches often presented plays as a learning tool. The Paradise Play, which was presented on December 24th, told the story of Adam and Eve. Finding an apple tree to represent the Tree of Good and Evil in the middle of winter presented some problems, so it was decided that a pine tree with apples tied to its branches would serve as the symbolic tree.

This idea worked so well that it became a popular prop for local churches, and the idea spread. Soon churches everywhere had adopted this tradition and included it in their celebration each year.


In Germany, the Paradise Tree was so popular that people began to erect pine trees in their homes during the holidays, decorating them with red apples, hence the iconic red and green Christmas color combination.

The color green is also said to symbolize the hope that was given to us through the sacrifices of Jesus, and is exemplified by the color of the evergreen trees, which remain alive and green throughout the year. Red, on the other hand, is believed to represent the blood of Christ. When combined with the color green, this duo is said to express the hope of being redeemed through the sacrifices of Christ.

Now you know! Resume merrymaking with warm thoughts and best wishes from your friend’s at Hirshfield’s!

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