Greenery is a pivotal part of the public image of the winter holidays in America. Everywhere you look, pine trees and holly pop up pretty much any time after Halloween. But what are the reasons for the connection of holly and ivy to winter celebrations?
Much of the symbolism of holly and ivy with winter are related to their color. They stay green well into the winter, and were promises of a return to spring. Holly was traditionally associated with fortune and immortality to the Romans, and the early church began to associate the plant with the crown of the thorns and the blood of Christ. Ivy was seen as a sign of charity, and was adopted as a reminder to give to those less fortunate.