A Holly, Jolly Christmas...
Besides the obvious rhyming factor in the above phrase, there are other reasons to associate holly with Christmas. The color, of course, shouts Christmas, as does everything red and green. In fact, Christmas may owe it's color association to the holly plant. Green is for the promise of new life in the spring and red for the blood of Christ crucified.
One Christmas tale tells that when the Christ child was born, holly berries were white. Three decades later, the thorn of crowns that were pressed into Jesus' brow in His last hours on earth were from a holly tree.
As His blood touched the berries, they were stained red.
The story itself makes about as much sense to me as flying reindeer and talking snowmen. But then, reindeer and snowmen also speak to me of Christmas. I'll never look at holly again without remembering the Christ - not just the child, but the man, the Savior He was sent to be -
the ultimate gift to the world.