The holiday season is on the horizon, and excitement is in the air. This means present shopping, cocktail parties and family time. However, you can't celebrate Christmas without the perfect seasonal flowers. When considering holiday decorations, you might revert to the classics like poinsettias, mistletoe, holly and ivy. But have you ever wondered where these traditions came from? Here is what you need to know about the significance of holiday flowers:
The first flower that may come to mind when you hear "Christmas" is the poinsettia. This plant has been a tradition for decades in Western culture. It's native to Central America, specifically southern Mexico where it was used for many things, including dying clothes and cosmetic purposes. Joel Roberts Poinsett (where the name is from) was the first U.S. ambassador to visit Mexico in 1825. Throughout his life, he grew and sold plants. He ended up sending plants to his friends, including a man John Barroom of Philadelphia, who gave the plant to his friend Robert Buist. He began selling poinsettias to the public, and just like that, they took off.
Although that's the historical side of things, there are also Mexican legends on how the poinsettia and Christmas came to be. According to Mexican traditions, a native girl named Pepita didn't have a present to give baby Jesus at Christmas Eve services. Her cousin comforted her by saying that the smallest gift would make Jesus happy.
On the way to the chapel, Pepita picked a few weeds to make a small bouquet and placed them at the nativity scene. Suddenly, the weeds burst into red flowers, and everyone who saw said it was a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as "Flores de Noche Buena," or "Flowers of the Holy Night" and were used every holiday season. Across the world, you still see houses, churches and businesses adorning their properties with poinsettia.
Another holiday decor tradition is the use of mistletoe. From sporting this on your mantle to hanging it underneath a doorway, this has become one of the most magical Christmas plants. It's also considered to bestow life and fertility and work as an aphrodisiac. It began with the Celtic Druids of the 1st century A.D. Because this plant could blossom during the winter, the Druids saw it as sacred and administered it to humans and animals for healing. The Druids began decorating their houses and doors to ward off evil spirits.
This fascination of vitality continued throughout time, and by the 18th century, it had become widely used for Christmas celebrations. Folklore states that the kissing tradition of mistletoe caught on in England when men were allowed to steal a kiss from any woman standing underneath the plant. Refusing it was seen as bad luck. Since then, the tradition has carried on more liberally, but most households still use this festive plant for decorative purposes.
"Holly and ivy go great together to adorn your home for Christmas."
Holly and ivy
You might come across the use of holly and ivy during Christmas, oftentimes together. These have been used since ancient times because they freshen the air and provide some greenery during the dark days of winter. Together they signify life, and the bright berries of holly are cheerful and uplifting. Similar to mistletoe, ivy and holly were traditionally decorated to ward off evil spirits like ghosts and demons. While their mystical powers have diminished, they still remain as beautiful decorations for the home.
If you want to sport gorgeous and festive arrangements, be sure to check out Teters' elegant holiday silk flowers so that your decor can last throughout Christmas seasons to come.