Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Fairy of the Holly

Christmas trees are late to the Western traditions.  They came in mid 1800s, prior to that, we, Southern folk and our people in the Old Countries, just used 'green' in the house at Christmas. In the 1800s more often evergreen boughs and holly branches were brought into a home.  Holly is a scared plant, in Christian times and before, yes, in pagan times too. A tree that is sacred to the fairies, but in Christian times, a tree that represented the blood of Christ.  We have what is called symmetry there.  Which is rare and good.   A sidebar, in the South, Father Christmas, used to be dressed in a Green Robe, and carried a dagger and horn of plenty.  He was a very thinly veiled representation of the old Celtic god, An Dagda (the Good God).  Later, much, he sort of blended in with the German concept of Santa Claus, which is not a bad thing, and related, but we shall not go into that now as it is complex. So... remember Santa, or The Spirit of Christmas Present, can have a beautiful Green garment. Look to Dickens, and A Christmas Carol and you will find the real Father Christmas.

When I was very young, back in Lakeshore, outside of Monroe, in our home my mother has a Father Christmas figurine,  not sure where she got it, but he was the Old One, in the green robes, with the horn of plenty, the staff, and dagger.  It fascinated me. I never forgot him.  One day, I learned his story. So... now I tell you a little of it.

Next time you all watch A Christmas Carol ( and I do hope you all shall do so) when you see the Spirit of Christmas Present, know, you are also seeing the real Spirit of Christmas.