December 2019

Our Christmas decorations are steeped in tradition, some dating back to the times of the Druids. They believed that mistletoe, which is a parasitic plant growing on trees, especially oaks and apples, gave some protection against evil and symbolised the light of life during dark winter days and nights. Kissing under the mistletoe derived from a Nordic legend when visitors would kiss the hand of the host when they arrived, but nowadays people stand under the mistletoe hung in the doorway, waiting for a kiss! The Romans held a seven day festival in mid-December in honour of Saturn, the God of Agriculture. Homes were decorated with green boughs and candles and we still do this to this day. Evergreens, which do not drop their leaves in wintertime, were said to symbolise the perpetuity of life through dark winter days, until spring comes again and lightness is all around.  We all know that Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s German husband, is attributed with bringing fir trees into homes in Great Britain at Christmas time, mirroring this long standing German custom, which we have been enjoying ever since.

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