“I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, underneath the mistletoe last night…”¹
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la…”²
“The Holly and the Ivy, when they are both full grown…”³
“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, thy leaves are so unchanging…”
What do these Christmas songs all have in common? Why, the presence of Christmas Greenery in their lyrics, of course! You can’t celebrate Christmas without a little greenery thrown in here and there. At Christmas Decor London, we have to agree.
Where would we be without our Christmas trees to put presents under? How’s a single guy ever going to steal a kiss during the holidays without the help of a little mistletoe to stand under? And even Bing (Crosby) knew that ‘snow’ and ‘mistletoe’ were part and parcel of the stuff Christmas dreams are made of (as per lyrics in “I’ll be Home for Christmas“, recorded in 1943).
Why do these Christmas greens tug on our festive heartstrings though? Is it because holly “opens the heart and unites us with Divine Love”, as believed by Edward Bach and followers of his Bach Flower Remedies? That would make sense. It is one of the few plants that bears fruit during the darker days of winter, which makes it an attractive food source for many birds and animals. Leave those bright red berries to the birds though, as they are slightly toxic to people and even worse for your pets. The birds wait until the berries have been frosted and frozen a few times, making them softer and more palatable. Best to keep the glossy greens for your wreath.
The white or red berries of mistletoe are equally as poisonous to people, but again a great food source for birds. This evergreen plant with glossy leaves features widely in Christmas songs aplenty and in many a traditional festive lore. Ask your grandparents if they participated in the practice of kissing under a bough of mistletoe, then plucking a berry from the sprig. Kisses were only allowed as long as the berries lasted, then no more! It’s not surprising then that mistletoe is thought of as a symbol of love and fertility.
What of ivy then? Well, it too stays green in winter, making it an attractive addition to wreathes and garlands. I see a theme emerging, as its berries are also a food source for birds, but moderately toxic to humans. Anybody else wonder why we use so many toxic plants in our Christmas Decor? Funny, but ivy’s use again has its roots in ancient pagan traditions. The fact that it stays green during the harshest days of winter, imbued it with magical powers to people of yesteryear. They believed that perhaps it would help to ward off evil from their doors. Its association with love, friendship and faith continues though, as homes continue to be decorated with ivy to this day.
My favourite greenery though is still the beloved Christmas tree. Whether it be a balsam fir, blue spruce or white pine, any coniferous tree is a welcome addition to your house during the holidays. You can’t beat the fresh scent it gives your home and the strings of lights add a cheery glow that entrances all that gaze upon a beautifully decorated tree.
Alas, not everyone can have the luxury of a real tree in their homes though for one reason or another. If your reason has nothing to do with scents, I have a suggestion of how to bring the smell of a real Christmas tree into your home – through aromatherapy. Try this recipe in a room diffuser and bring Christmas alive wherever you may be;
Christmas Tree Aroma for a Diffuser
- 10 drops Fir Needle oil
- 10 drops Spruce oil
- 10 drops Cedarwood oil
- 10 drops Juniper oil
And voila, you’ve got the scent of Christmas for any room in your house! Just add a Christmas carol or two, and count down the days til Santa arrives. That would be 19!
Merry Christmas!*All four lines at the start of the post are lyrics from Christmas songs 1 – Christmas song by Tommie Connor, 2 -Traditional Welsh Christmas melody, 3 – Traditional English Carol , 4 – Traditional German Carol