Traditional Christmas plants
Plants and flowers have traditionally played an important role in Christmas decoration. Some traditional Christmas flowers actually bloom during the month of December, while others have been chosen because they reflect the holiday's red-and-green color scheme. In fact, some historians believe that the traditional Christmas colors of red and green actually evolved from Christmas plants, and not vice-versa. Many Christmas plants were also believed to possess magical powers in ancient cultures and civilizations, or have qualities which reflect eternity and resurrection -- central tenets of the Christian faith.
Traditional Christmas Plants
If you're going to send Christmas flowers to a loved one or family member as part of a holiday gift basket or a stand-alone present, including some of these plants honors Christmas tradition:
- Poinsettias. The association between poinsettias and Christmas originates in Mexico, where the plant was used by the ancient Aztec peoples and figures prominently in Christmas folklore. They are also short-day bloomers, meaning that their flowers bloom during times of year when the night is longer than the day.
- Christmas cacti. Also known as the "orchid cactus," this plant, like the poinsettia, blooms around Christmastime and for that reason is often in arrangements of Christmas flowers.
- Mistletoe. One of the most famous Christmas plants, mistletoe began to be used as a Christmas decoration sometime around the 18th century. While it is famous for prompting Christmas kisses, as anyone standing under mistletoe is supposed to get a kiss from the nearest person, this tradition only evolved in modern times.
- Holly. Decking the halls with boughs of holly is a beloved Christmas tradition throughout the Western world. Because of its evergreen properties and healthy luster, holly was believed to have magical powers by ancient cultures and its adaptation into Christmas celebrations occurred centuries ago. Green holly, with its red berries, is believed to be the origination of the traditional Christmas color scheme.
- Ivy. Like holly, ivy is an evergreen plant and is widely used as a decorative accentuation.
Other traditional Christmas flowers include Christmas lilies and roses, and Christmas floral arrangements are often spruced up with pinecones and winter berries. You can either make your own or purchase a ready-made Christmas floral arrangement from a professional florist.