Holly and Doug
Together since 1992.
Married in November of 2000.
We live in beautiful San Marcos CA. We spend our summers sailing on our sailboat in the great Pacific Ocean and our winters hiking the beautiful foothills surrounding us..
Other interests: movies, reading, camping, kayaking, swimming, body surfing, board games, cooking, drinking wine, hanging with friends, travelling, and lots more.
The word ~holly~ comes from the word ~holy.~ Holly is associated with Christmas. There are over 150 species of holly. The flowers are inconspicuous, but the berries are not. Most hollies are native to North America, southern Europe and Asia. English holly Ilex aquifolium and American holly Ilex opaca are the species most commonly grown as Christmas decorations. The American holly has duller leaves and more spines than the English holly. Holly berries are potentially dangerous if eaten. Twenty berries can kill a person.
According to a Christian legend the pointed leaves of the Holly represent the thorns of Christ's Crown. The green leaves represent eternal life. The red berries represent the blood of Christ. It is said that holly was used to make the crown of thorns. At that time the berries were yellow. In honor to the blood shed by Christ the berries turned red.
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 Romans continued pagan worship, Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus. To avoid persecution, they decked their homes with Saturnalia holly. As Christians increased, holly lost its pagan association and became a symbol of Christmas.
According to another legend, when the Holy Family was fleeing into the desert from Herod, they hid the baby Jesus in a holly bust. At that time, the leaves had fallen as the holly was not an evergreen. Mary prayed for protection, and the leaves grew - green to hide and protect the baby Jesus.
The Druids believed that holly, with its shiny leaves and red berries stayed green to keep the earth beautiful when the sacred oak lost it leaves. They wore sprigs of holly in their hair when they went into the forest to watch their priests cut the sacred mistletoe.
In Medieval Europe it was associated with good fortune.Trees planted near homes were said to offer protection from thunder and lightning. The berries and leaves were used to ward off witchcraft and the evil eye - said to be more effective for men than women.
In West England it is said sprigs of holly around a young girl's bed on Christmas Eve are supposed to keep away mischievous little goblins. They also put a sprig of holly on the bedpost to bring sweet dreams. In Germany, a piece that was used in church decorations is regarded as a charm against lightning. In England, British farmers put sprigs of holly on their beehives. On the first Christmas, they believed, the bees hummed in honor of the Christ Child. The English also mention the ~he holly and the she holly~ as being the determining factor in who will rule the household in the following year, the ~she holly~ having smooth leaves and the ~he holly~ having prickly ones. In Wales, family quarrels are thought to occur if holly is brought into the house prior to Christmas. If decorations are left up beyond New Year's or Twelfth Night it is said that a misfortune will occur for each leaf and branch remaining. According to legend taking holly into the home of a friend or picking holly in blossom will cause death. In Germany, it is unlucky to step on the berries. A piece of holly kept from the Church decorations is said to bring good fortune throughout the year. Similarly, if holly is hung in the barn, animals will fatten and thrive. If picked on Christmas Day, it will serve as protection against witches and evil spirits. In some areas little lighted candles are placed on holly leaves and floated on water. If they float it is a sign that the project that the person has in mind at the time will prosper, but if they sink it is as well to abandon it.
If there was an abundance of red berries on a bush, it was believed that the winter would be severe as the bush was providing extra food for the birds to get through a harsh winter.
In the 19th century it was believed to remedy fever. In folk medicine it was believed that if you beat someone with holly until they bled it would cure chilblains.
Holly is the symbol of man.