It's almost December and that means only one thing - time to bring as much greenery into our homes as possible! Wreaths, garlands, sprigs of mistletoe and even whole bloody pine trees are brought in to join our houseplants and vases of flowers as we celebrate the season. Ever wonder where this all started?
Everyone knows the story of how Queen Victoria and her beau Albert styled the Christmas tree into fashion, but we were bringing the back yard in for the holidays long before then.
The truth is, it's hard to say exactly - the history of festive foliage is long and deep-rooted (see what we did there), but there are some key moments. There's records from 1444 that talk of the people of London kitting their cribs out with greenery, and the carol 'Deck the Halls', with its talk of jolly boughs of holly, is around 500 years old.
Ever the romantics, the Georgians favoured 'kissing boughs' - a large sphere of foliage decorated with dried fruits, ribbons and flowers that would be hung above the door, inviting those that would pass beneath it in for a little smooch. Sound familiar?
A subtle sprig of mistletoe hung in an opportune spot is perhaps the cheekiest bit of festive greenery. One might assume they're an offshoot of the aforementioned kissing boughs, but mistletoe has been featuring in decor schemes for a good 2000 years or so. There's records of it being gathered and used in ceremonies by Druids somewhere around 50 AD, so safe to say this one is pretty ancient.
In fact, it's generally thought that most of the plant-based traditions that we associate with Christmas today can find their routes in Druid and Pagan celebrations of nature around the Winter solstice, which is generally 20th-23rd December.
Then there's the wreath. Said to be a symbol of eternity, there's some pretty obvious Christian connections but they weren't actually associated with Christmas until the 1800s. They've actually been knocking about since ancient Rome, where rings of laurel and olive were used as trophies. We are partial to a wreath all year around, but they certainly come into their own this time of year.
Who are we to break traditions that have been Millenia in the making? If you've got the urge to give your own gaff a seasonal green up head to our Festive Edit and get yourself sorted.