Seasonal socks, undies and outerwear-going red for Christmas

08:34, December 24, 2009      

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No matter where you are in the world, whatever your ethnicity, taste or personal persuasion, the holidays at this time of year bring sparkly cheer, glittering tinsel and the search for something festively fitting to mark the party-heavy occasion.

The annual scramble for a piece of bright red attire, highly likely not to match anything else in your wardrobe, to wear on Christmas day itself and to the surrounding celebrations, can be traced back to the early 1900s. Thanks are also given to one of today’s global soft-drink manufacturers for perpetuating the image of Santa dressed in red from head to toe.

A clever advertising campaign enticing busy shoppers to quench their winter thirst was put into place in the 1930s by Coca-Cola and featured a jolly red-faced Santa sipping on a bottle of the famous beverage, previously popular only during the months of summer.

Santa was sporting rosy cheeks and a long white beard, a large red jacket trimmed with white fur, baggy red pants to match, a black belt and boots and his famous red hat on top.

The beverage manufacturer had many images of Santa to choose from at the time, small green elves, scary blue witchlike creatures and dark-cloaked gods, all sporting variously colored outfits that may have made people’s task of dressing for the season all the more socially acceptable in today’s world.

Instead, the clever marketers at Coke stayed in keeping with their famous beverage and we are hence faced with the task of finding something tasteful in scarily-bright red, not commonly prevalent in anything that can be considered fashion worthy or party-ready.

Twinkling reindeer antler headbands, elf-like flu. y red and white beanies and Santa hats in traditional red or more daring silver and gold are also common across the globe at this time of year. Yesterday I saw a man wearing a Santa hat over his helmet speeding on a motor-bike through the Beijing traffic and I know that others are busy attaching sequins to T-shirts and glitter to earrings, glamming up for the holiday celebrations.

For me, the good thing about Christmas in Beijing is that the relatively cold temperatures lend themselves to festive furs, hats, coats and Christmas trimmings.

It is heart-warming that the festive spirit, laughter and sharing have managed to prevail on at least one day of the year for millions across the globe, joining in what I hope this year is a very Merry Christmas.

Source: Global Times
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