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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Decorating With Holly

In Christmas folklore the prickly leaves of the holly trees came to be associated with Jesus' crown of thorns, while their red berries represented the drops of blood he shed.

We have three holly plants in our yard. My husband planted them from small starts he got from a friend who had many holly trees on his land. Only one is a female. It is full of beautiful red berries. I saw somewhere online that when there was an abundance of red holly berries it indicated a bad winter.
Have you heard of this weather superstition?

Our little holly needed pruning. Quite a few branches were too close to the ground. 

Our pruning resulted in this. . . 


this. . .

and this. . . 


I had so many, I was able to give some to my neighbor, too. 
Just be careful of the ones you bring inside. The berries are slightly poisonous to humans.

Do you decorate with holly?


  1. I love these. I have always loved decorating with Holly at Christmas. I remember doing it as a little girl.

  2. We didn't have any holly on our place when I was little. However, by the time I was a teenager, the birds had sown quite a bit, it seemed!

  3. Pretty, Janet! I wish I had some of it. No holly here :/ I have heard that superstition about the berries, but so far this year it has not been true.

  4. Interesting superstition about the berries. I've heard here that an abundance of pine-cones means we're in for a bad winter. So far, I've seen very few pine cones, so I hope that's a good sign!

  5. Oh dear, I was hoping for a mild winter! I love those old superstitions. This year our persimmons have spoons, which means lots of snow--we'll see! Your holly is so pretty!

  6. Your holly is gorgeous and very festive. These would make wonderful gifts.

  7. No, I don't. But I've always wanted holly bushes in my yard. I tried planting them once and something pulled them up. Darn it! A house I lived in once in WV had a beautiful holly tree in the front yard.

  8. Hi Janet, the holly looks so pretty in the vases! I love the red berries. I have never heard of the superstition, but some times there is a lot of truth in those old "wives and farmers" tales. I think people were a lot more in tune with the land and the nuances of nature and weather than we are today. I hope you have a lovely week ahead! Delisa :)

  9. Nice the holly.

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  10. I absolutely LOVE holly. I wish it grew here. I imagine the trees must be quite beautiful to look at day in and out--enjoy them!

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  11. Hey Janet:
    I haven't been here in awhile. I LOVE your picture of the bluejay with the peanut!
    There's a wild holly bush in a wooded lot up the street from me. Just this morning I saw it and thought, "I should snip some branches for the house."
    Merry Christmas, friend:)

  12. A few years ago I read that holly was placed above the beds of children to keep them safe.

    Merry Christmas

  13. Oh, your holly plants are lovely! And I had no idea there were male and female versions. So cool!

  14. The holly makes a nice addition to holiday greenery. We don't plant it in our yard, however. In fact, just the opposite; we have to keep cutting it back to keep it from taking over.

  15. Hi Janet,
    I have some holly but have never brought it in the house. I wonder how long it would last in a vase of water??
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas.
    Nancy Jo

  16. I love all your arrangements. Holly was the one thing that was plentiful in the woods when I was a child, so we used it every Christmas! It has been raining here all week, and I haven't been able to go to the woods to look for some. I have a tiny tree in my yard, but it doesn't need pruning yet.
    I made your Snowball cookies and served them at a tea I had for cousins; they were a big hit! Some asked for the recipe. Thanks for sharing...I will definitely make them again! Merry Christmas to you and your family.


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