It’s almost December, the warehouse is freezing cold, and we’re enjoyably exhausted sending out box after box packed with Christmas stocking fillers and party themes. This November promises to be our biggest ever, so a big thank you if you have ordered, and if you haven’t … we’re running low on a number of lines already! There’s Free Postage for order over £50 (not costumes, sorry) by clicking any of these links.
As we are getting blanketed by a carpet of snow, what better time to be thinking about the holly plant. In the spirit of Christmas, here are five things you probably didn’t know about our prickly friend.
1. Holly has nothing to do with ‘holy’; its name derives from words meaning prickly. Because it thrives through cold and snowfall, it signifies hope against adversity.
2. Holly is thought to bring men good luck; its counterpart for women is the ivy plant, hence the song. Its associations with Christianity derive in part from the symbolism with the crown of thorns, with its red berries representing the wounds.
3. However, traditions involving holly are far older than Christianity: the Romans offered it up to Saturn during the Saturnalia, and the Celts celebrated the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. (The Holly King triumphs during the winter months, the Oak King for the summer.)
4. For centuries it has been thought that hanging a holly wreath upon your front door deters demons and spectres from entering; a few sprigs around your bed keep away the goblins. Even better is a few holly branches indoors, which will keep the elves of the woodland safe, apparently.
5. Holly berries will make you quite poorly if you eat them, so please don’t. It does, however, make an excellent winter fodder for sheep and cattle, and you can even make herbal tea from it – it is highly stimulating, because its leaves have the highest content of caffeine of any plant.
We don’t actually sell holly, but we do sell all manner of other stocking fillers – here are some of our favourites. (Just put your mouse over the products for the name.)
We do like to hear from our customers if there is anything we can help you with. We’re here during office hours on 01572 748 609.
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Party Ark Ltd. 01572 748 609
Millers Barn, Harringworth NN17 3BZ