Deck the halls with boughs of holly ...

  • Deepa Gupta | New Delhi

    December 23, 2016 | 06:03 PM
holly, wreaths

(Getty Images)

Christmas is in the air and pretty hollies are everywhere ...

Deck the halls with boughs of holly... fa la la la la la la la la... the carols rang out. Christmas is in the air and pretty hollies adorn Christmas wreaths...

Well, the very thought of Christmas draws our mind to many things associated with the festival such as carols, Santa Claus, mistletoe, Christmas trees, wreaths, joystick and pretty little white snowflakes and red hollies, and more. But, no Christmas décor is complete without a dash of red and green holly. Be it wreaths, Christmas trees, cakes or general wall decorations, holly with its red berries and dark green leaves are the most traditional choice when it comes to choosing Christmas knick-knacks.

Holly berry is one of the prettiest and delightful festive items that add sparkle to the Christmas décor. Interestingly, the origins of its use can be traced back to the Pagan tradition where it was used to ward off evil spirits. It was also presented as gifts and offering to the gods in some parts of the northern Europe. Apart from its ornamental values, holly has more of a strong religious connotations attached to it for most people. In some traditions, the red colour of the berries represents the blood of Jesus Christ that flowed when he was crucified.

However, while the green holly leaves and red berries makes a pretty sight wherever it is put on, they are said to be quite poisonous. Hence, handmade holly berries are used in place of real ones to adorn Christmas items and decor. They are used to decorate Christmas bells and cakes and used in wreaths and stuck on gift wraps, among other things.

They grow wild in the forest and are grown in gardens too. One can find artificial ones in plenty in Christmas stalls and shops in markets during Christmas time.