When it comes to doing Yuletime magic, there's a lot to be said for color correspondences. Look around you, and think about the colors of the season. Some of the most traditional seasonal colors have their roots in age-old customs, and can be adapted to suit your magical needs.
Red is the color of poinsettias, of holly berries, and even Santa Claus' suit -- but how can it be used magically during the season of Yule? Well, it all depends on how you see the symbolism of the color. In modern Pagan magical practice, red is often associated with passion and sexuality. However, for some people, red indicates prosperity. In China, for example, it is connected with good fortune - by painting your front door red, you're practically guaranteed to have luck enter your home. In some Asian countries, red is the color of a bridal gown, unlike the traditional white that's worn in many parts of the western world.
What about religious symbolism? In Christianity, red is often associated with the blood of Jesus Christ. There's a story about in the Greek Orthodox religion that after Christ's death on the cross, Mary Magdalene went to the emperor of Rome, and told him of Jesus' resurrection. The emperor's response was along the lines of "Oh, yeah, right, and those eggs over there are red, too." Suddenly, the bowl of eggs turned red, and Mary Magdalene joyfully began preaching Christianity to the emperor. In addition to Jesus, red is often associated with some of the martyred saints in Catholicism. Interestingly, because of its connection with lust and sex and passion, some Christian groups see red as a color of sin and damnation.
In chakra work, red is connected with the root chakra, located at the base of the spine. Our Guide to Holistic Healing, Phylameana Iila Desy, says, "This chakra is the grounding force that allows us to connect to the earth energies and empower our beings."
So, how can you incorporate the color red into your magical workings at Yule? Deck your halls with red ribbons and bows, hang garlands of holly with its bright red berries, or position a few pretty poinsettias* on your porch to invite prosperity and good fortune into your home. If you've got a tree set up, tie red bows on it, or hang red lights to bring a little bit of fiery passion into your life during the chilly months.
* It's important to keep in mind that some plants can be deadly if ingested by children or pets. If you have small ones running around your home, keep the plants in a safe place where they can't be nibbled on by anyone!