Druids believed that holly, with its shiny leaves and red berries, stayed green in winter to keep the earth beautiful when the sacred oak lost its leaves. They wore sprigs of holly in their hair when they went into the forest to watch their priests cut the sacred mistletoe. Holly was the sacred plant of Saturn and was used at the Roman Saturnalia festival to honor him. Romans gave one another holly wreaths and carried them about, decorating images of Saturn with it. Centuries later, in December, while other Romans continued their pagan worship, Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus. To avoid persecution, they decked their homes with Saturnalia holly. As Christian numbers increased and their customs prevailed, holly lost its pagan association and became a symbol of Christmas. – Courtesy of TheSacredHeart.com.


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