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Festive Garlands

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These are what I've always thought of as really Christmassy fabrics. They feature the traditional holly, mistletoe and ivy as well as the more recent pointsettias and other red berried evergreens. They are so pretty.

olly, Ivy and other greenery such as Mistletoe were originally used in pre-Christian times to help celebrate the Winter Solstice Festival and ward off evil spirits and to celebrate new growth.

When Christianity came into Western Europe, some people wanted to keep the greenery, to give it Christian meanings but also to ban the use of it to decorate homes. The UK and Germany were the main countries to keep the use of the greenery as decorations. Here are the Christian meanings:

Holly: The prickly leaves represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified. The berries are the drops of blood that were shed by Jesus because of the thorns. In Scandinavia it is known as the Christ Thorn.

In pagan times, Holly was thought to be a male plant and Ivy a female plant. An old tradition from the Midlands of England says that whatever one was brought into the house first over winter, tells you whether the man or woman of the house would rule that year! But it was unlucky to bring either into a house before Christmas Eve.

Ivy: Ivy has to cling to something to support itself as it grows. This reminds us that we need to cling to God for support in our lives.

In Germany, it is traditional that Ivy is only used outside and a piece tied to the outside of a Church was supposed to protect it from lightning!

Info from

Credits: Joann, Anna Aniskina Más, babybubbleco, Margaret Berg, Alethea & Ruth, Hallmark, dreamstime, Emma Frances Design, Bethan Janine, goods-for-art, Carolyn Gavin, Amy Diggers, Ashley Neukom, 123rf, Fabriquilt, Elena Vladykina, Levison Design, Oksancia, Fotolia, De Leon Design Group, Moda, Andover Fabrics, Holiday Inspirations, Auntie Chris Quilt Fabric, The FabricHive, Kelly Ventura. Monika Forsberg, Makower, Sherry McCulley, Emma Jane Sowerby


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Thanks so much Max. I must say the thought has crossed my mind but as for being a best seller? Not sure about that but it would be a fun bit of trivia. Jayne


Jayne, If you were to organize all your bits of info you give us regarding your puzzle themes, and put it in a book, it would be a best seller. I would buy copies for everyone I know! Thank you again for a great puzzle and wonderful incite! Max


I thought that picture was so delightful Takara I couldn't resist including it.


Thanks so much Judy. I can take no credit for the names. My son chose Tag and my husband is responsible for Pounce. We do have a family history of interesting pet names though. I had a boerbull pup I called Katanya after one of George Adamson's lionesses because she looked just like a little lion cub as a pup. My mum's Alsation was Dayton because my Dad was doing a course there when he was introduced to our home. My sister called her Maltese Shadrack after one the three companions of Daniel in the fiery furnace and another was called Cholmondley (Chumley) after one of Gerald Durrell's wild pets. We also had a Bassett Hound called Casper after the Friendly Ghost. They were all characters of note.


The little child's face shows the beauty of the season Thank you

Jayne, your pets sound delightful! The names are excellent, too. I've been meaning to compliment you on your seasonal owl avatar...very classy! Judy


Thanks so much Sparkles and Judy. He is a darling, if getting a little grey and grumpy but having Pounce, our kitten has been very good for him. It is so funny to watch the two coppers together. Pounce devils him something dreadful - he pounces on his head or his back, chews his tail and ears and he takes it all mostly good natured. Jayne

Thanks for such a nice collection of Christmas plants used in such pretty ways, Jayne. I went back in your puzzles and was so happy to find a picture of Tag as a pup...what a darling copper boy! Judy


That is really pretty Jayne! I really enjoyed it. Love the Christmas patterns.