As a kid, one of my favorite Christmas carols was The Holly and the Ivy. I’m sure I had no idea how both related to Christmas back then. When I finally recognized and understood the words I was curious why this carol called the holly and the ivy? There is very little mention of the ivy!
Holly has roots deeply embedded into the pagan solstice celebration. Its evergreen qualities nod to a promise of better times to come and were absorbed by Christians. Holly and other evergreen plants subsequently became part of traditional Christmas celebrations.
The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown.
The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Saviour.
The holly bears a berry
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