As most every Catholic knows, before December 24th evening the right color is somewhere between red and blue on the color wheel. With one Sunday of a color between pink and light grayish-red.
I think a purple with more blue than red alerts us to a somewhat different character of Advent from Lent. Unlike some of my colleagues, I don’t get bent out of shape about blue nor do I feel the need to advocate for it. I wore a lavender/white striped shirt to church today with a blue, green, and red tie slightly suggestive of the 25th of this month. Same tie I wore on my wedding day, btw.
Secular Christmas overtakes this, as we know. In the process of selling product, things are decorated red and green now, with a bit of blue. I know, I know: traditionally green is the color of eternity or viridity or the only outgrowths from tree branches in the Northern Hemisphere. As a liturgy geek, I get used to it during more ordinary times of the year.
Red is associated with Santa Claus. I don’t know if St Nicholas was a cardinal–probably not. He was a bishop. And he did spend time in jail at one point. But I don’t think he was technically a martyr.
White is usually cited as the liturgical color of Christmas. Metallics, silver and gold, seem to have some presence in clergy vestments. I suppose a bit of red or green trim might be okay. In my mind’s eye, I could see a white vestment with red, green, gold, and silver highlights. Maybe a bit much, but Nativity is a feast for indulgence if any liturgical observance is.
Blue as a Christmas color. I saw this mentioned on a secular website. When I was watching one of those Christmas romance movies with my wife last night, the guy had a scene in a goshawful blue sweater. He was in love, so he didn’t care.