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Christmas Holly

The evergreen holly represents eternal life. Druids believed the holly was sacred. They thought this plant stayed green year round because it was especially favored by the sun. Christian legend says one winter night, the holly amazingly grew leaves out of season in order to hide the Holy Family from Herod's soldiers. Since then, it has been an evergreen as a token of Christ's gratitude.
 
Mistletoe has actually been used as a decoration in houses for thousands of years and was associated with several pagan rituals. The church forbade the use of mistletoe in any form, mindful of its idolatrous associations. The sharply pointed leaves were to represent the thorns in Christ's crown and the red berries drops of his blood. Holly became a nativity tradition. Another legend about this Christmas plant says that a little orphan boy was living with the shepherds when the angels came to announce the birth of the newborn king.

Having no gift for the baby, the child wove a crown of holly branches for its head. But when he lay it before Christ, he became ashamed of its poverty and began to cry. Miraculously, Jesus touched the crown and it began to sparkle while the orphan's tears turned into beautiful scarlet berries. Several superstitions surround the holly. It is a man's plant and is believed to bring good luck and protection to men while ivy brings the same to women. It is thought that whoever brings the first spray of Christmas holly into the home will wear the pants that year. It was hung about the doors and windows to keep away witches, spells, evil spirits, goblins, and lightning.
 
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