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Holly and narcissus are both birth flowers for the month of December. Holly is an evergreen shrub that is often used as a decorative element during the Christmas season. In the language of flowers, holly is said to symbolize domestic happiness and joy.
The Narcissus, also known as the daffodil or jonquil, is a symbol of good luck and happiness and is often associated with springtime. The Narcissus is said to represent self-love and vanity, but it’s also a symbol of happiness and joy.
Both holly and narcissus are popular choices for December birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. They are versatile plants that can be used in a variety of ways and are associated with joy, happiness, and good luck. What’s more, their dashing shades are a perfect match for the holiday colors.
Here’s everything you need to know about these two December birth flowers, including their uses, meaning, and symbolism.
Holly – What You Need to Know
Being a member of the Aquifoliaceae family, the holly isn’t a flower but a wide variety of species consisting of shrubs and trees capable of growing up to 50 feet tall and more. It’s an evergreen shrub or tree known for its glossy, dark green leaves and bright red berries. Moreover, Holly is often used as a decorative plant during the winter months as well as in traditional holiday decorations such as wreaths and garlands.
- The bright red berries of holly are a favorite food of many species of birds, and they provide an important source of nourishment during the winter months.
- Holly leaves and berries are toxic to humans and can cause nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms if ingested.
- There are over 400 species of holly, and they’re found in a wide range of habitats, including forests, wetlands, and gardens.
- Holly is an evergreen plant, which means it retains its leaves throughout the year. This makes it an important source of cover and food for wildlife during the winter months.
Holly Symbolism and Meaning
Holly is often associated with good luck and protection and is typically used as a symbol of the holiday season. In many cultures, holly is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune to those who possess it.
It’s also a symbol of eternal life and fertility, as its evergreen leaves and red berries remain throughout the winter months. Additionally, holly is often associated with Christmas and the story of the birth of Jesus, as it’s mentioned in the Christian Bible as being present at the stable where Jesus was born. It’s a versatile and multi-faceted symbol that’s rich in cultural and historical significance.
Holly as a Tattoo Design
Tattoo designs of Holly are popular for a number of reasons. Holly is a versatile and multi-faceted symbol that is associated with good luck, protection, and the holiday season. As a result, holly tattoos are often chosen by people who want to celebrate the winter season or express their spiritual beliefs.
Holly tattoos can be designed in a variety of styles, from traditional to modern, and they can be incorporated into a range of tattoo designs. Some people choose to incorporate holly into larger, more complex tattoo designs, while others opt for a simple, standalone holly tattoo.
Uses of Holly
The holly plant is mostly recognized as the mainstay in Christmas decorations, especially the American and English species. However, these spiky plants have had a myriad of uses across cultures and over time.
1. Uses of Holly in Ancient Rome
Ancient Romans believed that holly had the capability to ward off evil spirits. As a result, small holly twigs were presented during the harvest festival, Saturnalia, that was held during the winter solstice. These twigs would then be hung around the home to protect those within.
2. Use of Holly in the Celtic Nations
Holly played an important role in Celtic culture and was valued for its practical and symbolic uses.
In Celtic mythology, holly was associated with the god of thunder Taranis, and was believed to possess protective powers. Holly was also used by the Celts in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, such as colds and fevers.
Additionally, holly was used by the Celts in the construction of weapons and tools, as its hardwood made it suitable for use in spears, arrows, and other implements.
3. Use of Holly in Great Britain
The Druids were a class of priests in ancient Celtic society, and they’re believed to have used holly in a variety of ways. The Druids likely used holly in their religious ceremonies, as it was associated with Taranis, the god of thunder.
Holly may also have been used by the Druids in traditional medicine, as it was believed to have healing properties. Additionally, the Druids may have used holly in their divination practices, as its glossy leaves and bright red berries were believed to be symbols of good luck and prosperity.
4. How Christians Used Holly
In the Christian Bible, holly is mentioned as being present at the stable where Jesus was born, and it’s often associated with the Christmas holiday.
As a result, holly is often used in Christmas decorations and as a symbol of the birth of Jesus. Additionally, holly is also used in Christian artwork and literature as a symbol of Christ’s triumph over death and the promise of eternal life.
In some Christian traditions, holly is also used in religious ceremonies, such as Christmas Eve services, to add a festive touch and to symbolize the holiday season.
5. Use of Holly in Scotland
In Scotland, the holly plant was so revered that in the 1800s the Duke of Argyll had the construction of a road rerouted to avoid uprooting an old Holly tree.
Holly was believed to possess protective powers, and it was often used to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck in Scottish folklore. Holly was also used by the Scottish people in traditional medicine, as its leaves and berries were believed to have healing properties.
Additionally, holly was used in the construction of weapons and tools, as its hardwood made it suitable for use in spears, arrows, and other implements. Holly was also used in Scottish holiday decorations, as it’s often associated with the winter season and the Christmas holiday.
To grow holly, first, choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil. In fact, the more direct sunlight they get, the brighter the berries will be. Being dioecious plants, the male, which grows separately, is needed for pollination in order for you to get those flashy berries out of the female hollies.
Holly plants prefer acidic soil, so you may need to add sulfur or other acidic soil amendments to the planting area. Holly plants can be grown from seeds or from cuttings, so choose the method that works best for you.
When planting holly, be sure to space the plants at least a few feet apart to allow for proper growth. Water your holly plants regularly and fertilize them with an acidic fertilizer to help them grow and thrive. Prune your holly often to keep them healthy and to maintain their desired shape. With proper care, holly plants can thrive and provide years of enjoyment.
Some holly plants produce berries in other colors such as pink, white, black, blue, and yellow. Therefore, if you specifically want the characteristic red of Christmas, make sure to do some research first and choose your Holly well.
Narcissus – What You Need to Know
The narcissus is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. It is native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia, and it is known for its large, fragrant flowers. There are many different species of narcissus, and they come in a wide range of colors, including white, yellow, orange, and pink.
The most well-known species of narcissus is the daffodil, which is often associated with springtime and is a popular choice for gardens and floral arrangements. Narcissus plants are also known for their long-lasting flowers and their ability to naturalize and spread in gardens.
- The narcissus plant is named after the Greek mythological figure Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection.
- The most well-known species of narcissus is the daffodil, which is often associated with springtime and is a popular choice for gardens and floral arrangements.
- Narcissus plants are toxic and can cause illness if ingested. Symptoms of narcissus poisoning include nausea, vomiting, and convulsions.
- In many parts of the world, narcissus is associated with the holiday season and is often used in holiday decorations and floral arrangements.
- Narcissus plants are able to naturalize and spread in gardens, and they are known for their long-lasting flowers. In some cases, narcissus plants can become invasive if not properly managed.
Narcissus Meaning and Symbolism
The narcissus plant is often associated with beauty, vanity, and self-love. This is because the plant is named after the Greek mythological figure Narcissus, who was known for his beauty and his tragic fate.
In the myth, Narcissus falls in love with his own reflection and is unable to leave the pool where he sees it, eventually wasting away and turning into a flower. As a result, the narcissus plant is often associated with the idea of being too focused on oneself and one’s own appearance.
However, the narcissus is also associated with rebirth and renewal, as it’s a symbol of the coming of spring and the end of winter. In this sense, the narcissus can be seen as a symbol of hope and new beginnings.
Narcissus Symbolism According to Color
The symbolism of narcissus can vary depending on the color of the flowers. In general, white narcissus is associated with purity and innocence, yellow narcissus is associated with joy and happiness, and pink narcissus symbolizes love and affection.
However, these associations are not set in stone, and the symbolism of narcissus can vary depending on the context and the individual’s interpretation. Additionally, some species of narcissus, such as the daffodil, are known for their multi-colored flowers, which can add additional layers of symbolism to the plant.
Narcissus Flower Tattoo
Narcissus flower tattoos are popular for a number of reasons. They’re often chosen by people who want to celebrate the winter season or to express their love of nature. They’re a popular and beautiful choice for those who want to express their love of this iconic flower.
Narcissus is used for a variety of purposes. It’s commonly grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and floral arrangements and is also used in the production of essential oils and fragrances. In traditional medicine, narcissus plants have been used to treat a variety of ailments, such as colds and fevers.
Additionally, some species of narcissus, such as the daffodil, are grown for their bulbs, which can be used as a food source. In some parts of the world, narcissus plants are also used in cultural and religious rituals.
Use of Narcissus in the Victorian Era
The Victorians were known for their love of ornate and elaborate gardens, and narcissus plants were popular choices for Victorian gardens. Their large, fragrant flowers were admired for their beauty and their ability to thrive in cold weather.
Additionally, the Victorians were known for their love of perfumes and scented oils, and narcissus flowers were often used in the production of these products. Moreover, their practical uses, narcissus plants were also associated with the holiday season and the coming of spring, and they were often used in holiday decorations and floral arrangements.
Use of Narcissus in China
In China, narcissus is commonly grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and floral decorations. In traditional Chinese medicine, narcissus plants have been used to treat a variety of ailments, such as colds, fevers, and digestive issues. Narcissus plants are also used in Chinese cultural and religious rituals.
To grow narcissus, first, choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil. Narcissus plants prefer acidic soil, so you may need to add sulfur or other acidic soil amendments to the planting area.
Narcissus plants can be grown from seeds or from bulbs, so choose the method that works best for you. When planting narcissus, be sure to space the plants at least a few feet apart to allow for proper growth. Water your narcissus plants regularly and fertilize them with an acidic fertilizer to help them grow and thrive. Prune your narcissus plants regularly to keep them healthy and maintain their desired shape.
Narcissus, and particularly paper whites take about a month to bloom after planting. Therefore, if you want them to decorate your home during the holiday, plant them in November.
Birth Flower Gift Ideas for December Babies
If you’re looking for a gift idea for the December born in your life, here are some unique options to choose from:
1. Birth Flower Resin Necklace
December birth flower jewelry can make a good gift for a number of reasons. First, it is a thoughtful and personalized gift that shows that you have put thought and effort into choosing something that is specifically meaningful to the recipient.
Second, birth flower jewelry is a unique and beautiful way to celebrate the recipient’s birth month, which can be a special and significant time of year.
Third, birth flower jewelry is a versatile and timeless gift that can be worn and enjoyed for many years to come.
2. Custom Flower Digital Print
A custom flower digital print is a personalized and unique gift that can be tailored to the recipient’s tastes and interests. It can be designed to feature the December birth flower, the narcissus or holly, or both. It’s a beautiful and artistic way to celebrate the birth month of the recipient, which can be a special and significant time of year.
3. Holly Wreath
Aside from being the December birth flower, the holly is also a traditional plant associated with the Christmas season, so a holly wreath can be a meaningful and personalized gift that celebrates the baby’s birth month. A holly wreath is a beautiful and festive way to celebrate the holiday season.
4. A Personalized Pendant
A personalized pendant is a unique and one-of-a-kind gift that can be specifically tailored to the recipient’s tastes and interests. If you’re looking for a jewelry gift idea for a December born, a personalized pendant with the narcissus or holly engraved on it would be a thoughtful choice. You can also add the receiver’s name and birthday to it.
5. A Birth Flower Mug
A birth flower mug can be a beautiful and functional gift that can be used and enjoyed on a daily basis. Not only is it unique, but it’s also very thoughtful and practical. Have the receiver’s name and birth flower engraved or printed on the mug and they will think of you every time they use it!
December Birth Flowers FAQs
The holly is a dioecious plant, meaning that it has separate male and female individuals. Male holly plants which are small and inconspicuous, produce pollen, while female holly plants which are larger and more noticeable, bear fruit.
Although holly is generally safe and non-toxic, it can cause allergic reactions in some people. The fruit and leaves can also be toxic to some animals. If ingested, holly leaves can cause diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach as well as intestinal problems.
Yes, narcissus and daffodils are the same plants, but Narcissus refers to a much smaller variety of daffodils.
Yes, narcissus multiplies and spread through bulb division (where exact copies of the flower are created), and from seed (resulting in new flowers).
As birth flowers, holly and narcissus can be a meaningful and fitting choice for those born in December, as they can be used to celebrate the recipient’s birth month as well as the winter season.
There is a myriad of flower-themed gift ideas for those born in December. As long as holly or narcissus has something to do with it, your loved one will know that you truly do think of them.