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The Tradition of Christmas Holly

Updated on September 27, 2012

pictures of holly

Holly and it's origins

Truthfully, holly was originally a druid custom used to enter the forest and ward of evil spirits. It is was also used by Romans and was believed to be the sacred plant of Saturn. However, the Christian tradition of Holly at Christmas is used to remind us of the Crucifixion and the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. The berries are to remind us of the blood Jesus shed.

It is believed that Roman Christians started the use of the Holly for their own celebrations. It also thought that the tradition at Christmas was started in Northern Europe, possibly Germany. In old Europe, holly was thought to bring good fortune and keep houses safe from thunder and lightning. Holly bushes at one time in Europe were referred to as Christmas trees and it was believed that the cross was made of holly wood and the thorn crown made of holly.

Holly is a prickly bush or tree. It can be found in Europe, North America and Asia. There are many different types of Holly growing from a small bush to a large tree. It has small red berries. However, never, ever eat the berries. They are poisonous. However, the green leaves have been used in potions for centuries.

In Germany, holly is known as Christdorn which interpreted literally means Christ thorn. Belief even has it that if the holly at Christmas is thorny and prickly the man will rule the house for the next year, if it's smooth, it's the woman's rule. Other traditions included planting holly bushes around your house to keep witches out and for the Druids, it symbolized fertility and eternal life.

The tradition of holly at Christmas time has been around for thousands of years and will probably continue until the return of Christ. It is a beautiful addition to any Christmas decor.


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    • Smokes Angel profile imageAUTHOR

      Smokes Angel 

      7 years ago from Broke Alabama

      You are very welcome Aubrey... Hope you did well!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      thanks i was puzzled about what 2 wright for my high school papper on christmas and nowi know thanks agien

    • Smokes Angel profile imageAUTHOR

      Smokes Angel 

      7 years ago from Broke Alabama

      thanks for the comment rasta.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Every Dec 25, there is a special star configuration that can be observed in the heavens. Early in the morning.

    • Smokes Angel profile imageAUTHOR

      Smokes Angel 

      7 years ago from Broke Alabama

      thanks chuck for commenting

    • chuckbl profile image


      7 years ago from Scotland

      A lot of stuff here that I had no idea about! Thanks for sharing. Who knew holly could be so interesting? The only thing I was told when I was little was that I shouldn't eat it as it's poisonous! Thanks for sharing :)


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