Why do you have holly draped over the mantel and
Mistletoe has apparently been used as a decoration in
houses for thousands of years and is also associated with many pagan rituals.
The church forbade the use of mistletoe in any form, mindful of its
idolatrous associations. As a substitute, it suggested holly. The sharply
pointed leaves were to symbolize the thorns in Christ's crown and the red
berries drops of his blood. Holly became a nativity tradition. The Christian ban
on mistletoe was in effect throughout the Middle Ages. Surprisingly, as late as
the 20th century, there were churches in England that forbade the wearing of
mistletoe sprigs and corsages during services.
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