Many of our traditions come from times past, and the reasons for them are not commonly known. In this free Holly and Ivy history lesson, learn why we use holly and ivy to decorate at Christmas.
Decorations used in times past were usually symbolic and had a very specific meaning. From conveying wealth to offering goodwill to warding off evil spirits, the use of decorations was intentional.
In many countries, the use of winter greenery during the winter solstice celebrated new growth. Though later religious figures did away with most ancient traditions, the use of holly and ivy at Christmas remained.
Holly was used to represent the crown of Jesus at His crucifixion, the berries resembling the blood He shed.
Ivy is a common plant and it can be found anywhere. Why was it considered special? It was used to depict our need for God, as it attaches itself to an object as it grows.
The lesson includes many more interesting traditions and facts about the use of holly and ivy at Christmas. Download and print these pages to share with your children as you decorate your home.
Find more resources about ancient Christmas traditions for your homeschool lessons.
- Free Christmas Traditions Online Unit Study
- Christmas in Shakespeare’s Medieval England – FREE Sample Lesson
- FREE Christmas Journal Printables for Kids