Oh...it's been bustling around here. I look forward to stuffing my Christmas vases to the brim with fresh greens each and every year and now it's official all of the decorations are up for the holiday. From our yard I clipped boughs of white pine and I used the left over fir branches from our Christmas tree for the arrangements. I wish I could bottle up the scent and send it to you! To me the scent of pine is just as pretty as the scent of a lilac in the spring or a lovely summer rose.
Like so many Christmas traditions, the custom of decorating with evergreens began long ago, before Christmas was even celebrated. In ancient times, trees were considered magical, and their branches were placed over doors and fireplaces to keep away witches, ghosts and evil spirits. Because trees like pine, fir, balsam, and spruce keep their lush green color and bright red berries even in the bitter cold, they were used in many winter festivals to brighten spirits and remind people that spring was on its way.
Many ancient people used evergreen boughs, holly and mistletoe to decorate their homes during the winter solstice. The Romans used greenery to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia which was a mid winter celebration in honor of the god Saturn. Over time, this 'good luck' greenery would end up as our present day Christmas trees, wreaths and garland.