Deck the halls with boughs of holly, tra la la la la, la la, la, la. 'Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la la , la la la, la.
Bring your garden into the house to celebrate the festive season. Make it an all natural Christmas celebration. Go out into the garden and pick holly or other evergreens, tie together and fasten on a raffia bow. What could be more simple.
Gathering greenery from the countryside and bringing it into the house during the dark days of winter was how people celebrated years ago. The evergreen branches were an important sign that life carried on despite most plants and trees shedding their leaves. At our house sprigs of holly were hung over the mirrors, picture frames, sconces.
Why not brighten up your indoor arrangements with berries and garlands.
A couple of months ago I decided rather than buying flowers for the house I would make up a basket of potted plants. I had picked up this basket at a garage sale for $1. I bought $10 worth of green plants, added one or two of my own ( thanks for the Kalanchoe, Diana). Now I am adding some pine cones, leaves and garland to dress it up for Christmas.
At the front door some holly and pyracantha in this planter made by our blogging, gardening friend Bob at Draco Gardens who makes the most incredible metal work. You name it, he can make it.
In the family home mistletoe was hung over the light just inside the front door. It was a way to welcome people into the house with a kiss! I remember going to parties as a teenager when the boys would carry a sprig of mistletoe to steel a kiss. What they didn't seem to care about was the fact that for each kiss they must remove a berry and when all the berries were gone then no more kissing. Because mistletoe was not easy to come, and therefore most had only a small sprig, you can imagine there were more kisses than berries. How they would have loved my branch of mistletoe. So many berries. There is no problem finding mistletoe in Texas, but our mistletoe is a different species from the one I grew up with in Europe. The Texas species, Phoradendron, meaning 'tree thief' in Greek, is almost always found on Spanish oak, elm and hackberry. Easily visible in the winter months, the plant, which is a parasite, rarely kills the tree but a heavy infestation might cause the demise of an already weakened tree.
Although most of these customs have their roots in pagan rituals they have become associated with the Christmas season.
Just a few simple decorations are all it takes to make the houses festive during December.
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