I remember in elementary school learning about the color wheel and contrasting colors. If the colors are opposite each other on the wheel, they are called contrasting colors. When those colors are used in concert, they bring attention.
That's why so many products are packaged in orange and blue, said my teacher; that's why Christmas is red and green. The combination catches the eye.
That always stuck with me and I have used the concept when making posters or some other such thing where I wanted to draw attention.
You might also call the colors extremes -- on opposite ends of the spectrum. (By the way, black and white are contrasting hues as well.)
It has occurred to me that Christmas might not just offer extreme contrasts in its traditional colors.
This is a time of year when people experience extreme joy, but it can also be a time of deep sorrow. That sorrow can come from missing loved ones, experiencing loneliness, or stressing over the many Christmas obligations, not the least of which is financial.
Christmas is a time that is filled with moments of frantic activity and also, hopefully, profound stillness.
It can be a time when children are extremely good, knowing Santa Claus is watching, or very unruly, simply brought on by the excitement of his arrival with presents.
Gifts given and received can be amazingly perfect or head-scratchingly odd.
Our weather right now is even playing into this theme of extreme. I recently witnessed our temperature jump 30 degrees in one day.
The list of opposites this time of year can go on and on, but the most important one can be found the Christmas story of Christ's birth. The baby king-royalty-was born in a stable. You can't get much more of an opposing situation.
This Christmas, I hope you enjoy the extremes-all of them really. They all join together to make our Christmas real. And if Christmas wasn't real, well it wouldn't be worth it, would it?