Colour can alter a person’s mood making them feel happy, sad or calm. Even so, most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the feeling that the colours around them evoke.

We know that gifting is an enjoyable experience to both the giver and the receiver, but it can also be complicated when we don’t know what to give or if we have received a gift we really don’t like!

That feeling of euphoria at Christmas time, a birthday or other special occasion when we give or receive a gift that we have wanted; and it triggers that good feeling to our brain and also give us a tremendous feeling of happiness!

But then there are those gifts that are a “fail” because we have given or received something that is inappropriate!  Can you relate?

The colour red in Chinese tradition symbolises good luck.  We only have to look at all the decorations in the streets of Hong Kong during Chinese New Year to know that to be true.

However, black and white are considered colours of mourning and therefore it is said that you should wear less black and white to prevent misfortune.

And never gift a Chinese person a green hat! as the phrase “to wear a green hat” in Chinese means you’re being cheated on.

Gold is wealth and fortune, pink and yellow is happiness – so to avoid accidentally offending someone, these would be safe colours to use in your gift wrapping or ribbon.

In any case, I’m a big believer that it’s better to give than to receive, because as the saying goes…”we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”

So, let’s talk about how the colours around us make us feel.

  • Red stands for energy, danger, strength, power, and determination, but also passion, desire, and love.  It’s a great accent colour in a kitchen as it is known to increase appetite. (Think McDonalds, KFC etc)
  • Yellow is the colour of sunshine and is associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.   Yellow can also feel very welcoming.
  • Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow.  It’s associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. It’s also the only colour to take its name from an object; the orange.
  • Green is the colour of nature.  Considered the most restful colour for the eye, green can make us feel calm and secure. Green symbolises growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility, and generally makes people feel emotionally safe.
  • Blue is associated with trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, and truth.  Blue slows down the metabolism and has a calming effect, so it’s considered to be beneficial to the mind and body when used in the office.
  • Purple, in its darkest form, is dramatic, rich and sophisticated, and is associated with luxury and creativity.  Lighter hues of purple, such as lavender are very restful.

So there you have it!  Next time you’re selecting a gift, think about the colours used and how it’s going to make your lucky recipient feel!