Mancuso's Florist Blog

Mancuso's Florist Blog

Posted by Mancuso's Florist on December 4, 2019 Events Flowers

Decorating with Holly – December’s Birth Flower

The holidays are upon us, and winter’s knocking at the door. Naturally, our expert floral designers at Mancuso’s, serving St. Clair Shores and the surrounding areas, have been busy dreaming up new ways to use holly, the December birth flower, to deck the halls. We’ve put together this complete guide to help you celebrate the spirit of the season with holly this year. 

What Is Holly?

Holly Berries on Snowy Branch

Holly Berries on Snowy Branch

Holly is an evergreen shrub that can grow large enough to be considered a tree. Like other evergreens, holly leaves, flowers, and berries sprout from the plant’s limbs. A cut limb from a holly plant is a bough of holly. Since they’re evergreens, holly plants stay vibrant throughout the winter. 

Is Holly Poisonous?

The leaves and stems of holly aren’t poisonous, but the plant’s bright, red berries are highly toxic to both people and pets. Plants growing outdoors or those used to decorate inside should be kept well out of the reach of small children, cats, and dogs. 

What Does the Holly Plant Symbolize?

Long before people hung holly in their houses next to Christmas trees and twinkling lights, many ancient cultures also used it frequently. While other plants died in the winter, holly stayed green and vibrant with bright berries even in the coldest weather. 

The Druids and Celtic peoples considered holly to be a sacred, magical plant. They regarded it as a symbol of eternal life and fertility. Chopping down a holly tree in Druid times was bad luck, but hanging its boughs inside for protection was considered good luck. 

Ancient Romans associated the plant with the god of harvest and agriculture, Saturn, and they used its boughs to celebrate the festival of Saturnalia. Ancient Romans also hung holly above their doorways for good luck and protection. Early Christians did the same. 

Holly Wreath on Old Door

Holly Wreath on Old Door

Eventually, the holly plant took on its own symbolism within Christian traditions, with its spiky leaves representing the crown of thorns and the red berries symbolizing the blood of Christ. 

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate the Season with Holly

Decorative Wreaths

Honoring one of the oldest holly traditions, you can still hang it on your front door for good luck and a festive spirit. Add it to a wreath featuring other greenery, pinecones, or festive flowers. 

Advent Wreaths

If you mark each Sunday leading up to Christmas by lighting a candle, you can incorporate additional symbolism into your advent wreath with holly. 

Centerpieces

Holly adds a wonderful seasonal appeal to a centerpiece for a dining room table. We recommend adding a few red, green, white, gold, or silver candlesticks to create an even warmer, more cheerful ambiance. 

This Lenox® collectible is crafted in fine ivory china, then hand-painted and accented with 24-karat gold. This is the look of classic elegance treasured for generations and cherished by collectors today. The gift bag is sure to be a treasured keepsake for years to come. Available exclusively at Mancuso's Florist. This is filled with red roses pine cone and holly berries

Lenox Holiday Gift Bag

Loaded with holiday cheer, our centerpieces feature a splendid assortment of holiday flowers, candles, ornaments and lush Christmas greens. Approx: 10"w x 6"h (not including candle)

Holiday Centerpiece

Corsages and Boutonnieres

If you have a formal party or fancy event to attend this season, take your outfit to the next level with a festive corsage or boutonniere, featuring holly. 

Christmas Packages

To create an elegantly gift-wrapped look, you can tie a bit of holly to your gift boxes with pretty ribbon. Be careful, however, not to leave these packages lying around in a home with pets and/or small children. 

Floral Arrangements

Of course, our favorite way to decorate with holly is by incorporating it in floral arrangements. We love to pair it with a combination of red and white flowers and other greenery. Holly’s beautiful alongside white and red carnations, roses, lilies, chrysanthemums, hydrangea, and orchids. For fun, we like to include a couple of frosted pinecones and other sparling holiday accents. 

elegant vase of long lasting, imported Dendrobium orchids and berries trimmed for the holiday.

Orchids and Berries

White tulips red roses berries and pine cones in glass vase

First Snowfall Bouquet

How to Have a Truly Holly Jolly Christmas Season

At Mancuso’s, we can help you incorporate holly, it’s symbolism, and its good luck in your seasonal celebrations and decorations. For expert assistance or personalized recommendations, we welcome you to stop by our flower shop when you’re ready to decorate for the holidays.