Benton First UMC Blog

Grace Note for December 11, 2015

Will the groundhog see your Christmas lights as he searches for his shadow? Well, maybe, according to some of the tradition associated with the Christmas carol, “The Holly and the Ivy”.

The carol tells the story of the Christ Child as seen in the holly plant. The song’s origins are unknown, but according to ancient legend, the holly and ivy plants are rivals, with the holly representing the masculine and the ivy representing the feminine.

The holly and the ivy plants are popular Christmas decoration for homes and churches, thanks to their beauty and abundance during the winter months. But did you know that before the 1900’s, many people did not decorate until Christmas Eve? Or that the decorations were often left up until the feast day of Candlemas on February 2?

“The Holly and the Ivy” is an unusual Christmas carol since it incorporates the story of Christ’s birth and death. As you see the holly and ivy plants this Christmas, reflect on their special meaning and the wonderful story found in their leaves and branches. You’ll be “berry” glad you did.

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