Oak and holly play an important role in many of our holiday celebrations surrounding the winter solstice. In ancient cultures the holly tree symbolized the waning sun commencing with the summer solstice and the oak tree symbolized the waxing sun commencing with the winter solstice.
The Druids believed holly’s evergreen nature made it sacred and that it remained green throughout winter to keep the earth beautiful at a time when deciduous trees shed their leaves.
Holly was used for decoration throughout homes with it being used for boughs over entrances to peoples’ homes or formed into holly wreaths that were hung on doors. Placing a ring of holly on doors originated in Ireland since holly was one of the main plants that was green and very beautiful with its red berries at this time of year and gave poor people a means of decorating their dwellings. Decorating one’s home with holly was believed to bring protection and good luck to the inhabitants in the coming year.