Imagine you are sitting in a darkened theatre. The chattering audience quietens as, with a dusty sigh, the curtains draw back . The stage is revealed, set for winter, with drifting snow. Behind spiked railings a grand house with lighted windows shows a Christmas tree garlanded with tinsel, gifts heaped at its foot. There is a pause while tension builds. Slowly, very slowly, a wraith drifts onto the scene, clad in funereal black.
It is the ghost of Christmas past…
(Just hold that thought – it becomes relevant later)
So yes, it’s December 6th and already the party season has started. From now until 31st the diary is manic. If you add the children involved in separate school concerts, school plays, extra curricular celebrations demanding parental support, the pressure is relentless.
Fortunately “Carols on the Playground” requires nothing more elegant than a warm skirt, boots, squall jacket, hat and gloves, but the networking Christmas lunch (dress code – “bring on the sparkle”) and the neighbourhood “Open House” on Saturday 21st, are going to demand more thought. Oh – and then there’s the obligatory New Year’s Eve bash. Already my dear husband and I have had the muttered “Why did you say “yes”?” – “I didn’t – I thought you had” conversation off to one side before we pinned dutiful smiles on our faces and made delighted noises to our prospective hostess.
So yes – we’re all going to party like it’s 2013…. (and I seem to remember thinking I was rather too old for this malarkey in 1999, but never mind…)
Fourteen years ago; pre husband, pre children, pre having had my colours analysed and my style defined, life was much more simple. The LBD was brought out time after time after time. Never mind that its simple classic lines made me next to invisible, that black washes my complexion pale grey: the books, magazines and generally accepted wisdom maintained that one absolutely could not go wrong with the classic Little Black Dress.
Oh yeah? Black turns Springs to grey, Autumns to sallow yellow, Summers to skimmed milk. By some alchemy, you lucky Winters find your complexion turns to alabaster when wearing black. (sigh)
But still – the LBD is held up to all of us as the ideal.
And Why? What has black got to do with Christmas? Even if it is the ghost of Christmas past?
If you belong to the Christian Faith, as I do, then Christmas is a time of the utmost joy and celebration: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth, Peace to All”. Surely this calls for Gold, Silver, Reds and Greens; Firework Orange and Cobalt Blue! If you belong to a more Pagan philosophy, then this midwinter celebration – the solstice is past and light once more returns to the world – still demands light and celebratory colours!
This morning (5th December) as I walked home from the bus stop at 7.30am, having escorted my 11 year old to catch the school bus, the sky was an amazing mix of Aqua, Lavender and Salmon Pink. As a colour consultant I would never have put those colours together (replace Lavender with Dove Grey and we might begin talking) but God/Mother Nature obviously knew what they were about as the mix was amazing. Celebratory colours indeed!
So my challenge to you this Christmas and New Year is: Do you possess a party dress/outfit in one of your best colours?
If not, why not?
As a secondary challenge (for Winters only): Do you possess a party dress/outfit in one of your best colours that is not black?
After all, what has black got to do with Christmas?
You have permission to bring it out on Good Friday. That’s 18th April 1014, by the way.
But we don’t normally hold parties then.