Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Than Just A Holiday

I was thinking today about what makes Christmas time so special.  Is it the presents, the decorations, the hot cocoa, the tasty treats, or the Christmas carols?
No...I have decided that none of those things are what makes this time of year so special.  I think there are two very important things that make this holiday season so magical.

The opportunity to believe in something and the hope of new things to come

This time of year encourages us all to believe in the good in people, in a real life fairy tale, our family and friends, the power of words, memories, and true joy.  This time of year allows us to believe in our own ability to make a child smile, to show a friend know how much they are loved, and show our family how much we cherish them.

This time of year helps us hope for the new year and what it might bring, what it might mean, and the possibility of a new or better beginning.  This time of years shows us where we have come from and where we can go.  It shows us that we have accomplished something and are strong enough to make through the hard times and that the good times keep us going.

This time of year is a magical, enchanted time of year because of something much deeper than gifts and Christmas trees.  This time of year is sprinkled with fairy dust because we take time for gifts and Christmas trees because we believe in the delight of the season and in the hope of the year to come!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The History of the Christmas Tree



Did a celebration around a Christmas tree on a bitter cold Christmas Eve at Trenton, New Jersey, turn the tide for Colonial forces in 1776? According to legend, Hessian mercenaries were so reminded of home by a candlelit evergreen tree that they abandoned their guardposts to eat, drink and be merry. Washington attacked that night and defeated them.
The Christmas tree has gone through a long process of development rich in many legends, says David Robson, Extension Educator, Horticulture, with the Springfield Extension Center.
Some historians trace the lighted Christmas tree to Martin Luther. He attached lighted candles to a small evergreen tree, trying to simulate the reflections of the starlit heaven -- the heaven that looked down over Bethlehem on the first Christmas Eve.
Until about 1700, the use of Christmas trees appears to have been confined to the Rhine River District. From 1700 on, when lights were accepted as part of the decorations, the Christmas tree was well on its way to becoming a tradition in Germany. Then the tradition crossed the Atlantic with the Hessian soldiers.
Some people trace the origin of the Christmas tree to an earlier period. Even before the Christian era, trees and boughs were used for ceremonials. Egyptians, in celebrating the winter solstice -- the shortest day of the year -- brought green date palms into their homes as a symbol of "life triumphant over death". When the Romans observed the feast of saturn, part of the ceremony was the raising of an evergreen bough. The early Scandinavians were said to have paid homage to the fir tree.
To the Druids, sprigs of evergreen holly in the house meant eternal life; while to the Norsemen, they symbolized the revival of the sun god Balder. To those inclined toward superstition, branches of evergreens placed over the door kept out witches, ghosts, evil spirits and the like.
This use does not mean that our Christmas tree custom evolved solely from paganism, any more than did some of the present-day use of sighed in various religious rituals.
Trees and branches can be made purposeful as well as symbolic. The Christmas tree is a symbol of a living Christmas spirit and brings into our lives a pleasant aroma of the forest. The fact that balsam fir twigs, more than any other evergreen twigs, resemble crosses may have had much to do with the early popularity of balsam fir used as Christmas trees.
Written by: David Robson Extension Educator, Horticulture Springfield Extension Center

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

~Deck the Hall With Boughs of Holly~

According to Wikipedia- In many western cultures, holly is a traditional Christmas decoration, used especially in wreaths
So how do you make on of these wreaths?
Holly wreaths are "the" traditional Christmas decoration. These evergreen favorites are durable and - with a few added bows, bells and berries - a colorful addition to an entryway or mantel.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You'll Need:

  • Wide Ribbons
  • Wire Wreath Frame
  • Floral Wires
  • Garden Shears
  • Holly
  • Pine Cones
  • Small Apples
  • Craft Wire
  1. Cut a large shopping bag full of holly (Ilex) from your garden in 6-inch-long trimmings.
  2. Use a wire wreath frame or make your own frame from a wire coat hanger. (Simply unbend it from the familiar shape into a circle - you can use the hook to hang your finished wreath.)
  3. Attach number-24 floral wire (sometimes called paddle wire) anywhere along the wire wreath frame.
  4. Select several stems of the 6-inch holly pieces and place them together in a bunch with the stems at one end.
  5. Place a stem that has some berries on top of the bundle of holly.
  6. Place the bundle on top of the frame where the floral wire is connected.
  7. Hold the bundle in place and wrap the floral wire around the bundle and frame. You will need two hands for this: one to hold the bundle in place against the frame and one to wrap the wire.
  8. Wrap the floral wire around the bundle a second time and then pull it tight. Make sure to leave the wire attached to the frame - you have a long way to go.
  9. Gather another bundle of holly and place it so that the leaves overlap the first bunch and cover the stems. Make sure that the stems on both bunches face the same direction.
  10. Continue overlapping the bunches of foliage and wiring them to the frame until you complete the circle.
  11. Lift the first bundle that you wired onto the frame and tuck the last one under it.
  12. Twist the wire tightly around the last bundle. Knot the wire onto the frame, leaving 1 inch of wire to hang the finished wreath.
  13. Cut the wire with scissors or pruning shears when you're finished                                                                                                                                                                                           
Hope you enjoy it!!Read more: How to Make a Holly Wreath |

Monday, December 6, 2010

An Announcement!

Holly Berry is changing things up a bit.  Evergreen, Colorado, is considered a destination location for weddings and we here at the Holly Berry specialize in weddings.  We do everything from centerpieces, bouquets,Boutonnieres, and overall floral decor for everything wedding!  We, however, know that flowers are not the only thing a bride needs for her wedding so... we are going to join together with several other companies that also specialize in weddings.  We will all be on one blog- us (flowers), a photographer, a venue (here in Evergreen), an event planner, and a cake baker.  We together will become the greatest wedding blog there is!!
This is a very excited step!  This blog will be officially up by Wednesday! 
More info to come!

Friday, December 3, 2010

~A Walk To Remember~

The Holiday Walk was tonight in Downtown Evergreen.  It came complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus, hot cider, Christmas lights galore, and even bell ringers that performed at Evergreen National Bank.  This event is small town at its best.  The Holiday Walk has been known to make a vacationer into a local and Scrooge into Saint Nick himself.  There is a true sense of joy and the holiday spirit in every store you walk into.  Seasonally Yours has elves selling fudge and taffy, the Ice House hosts Santa and Mrs. Claus for picture taking, and the trolley strolls main street, pulled by two beautiful Clydesdale's.
Evergreen turns into a fair tale this time of year, it truly looks like the movies.  The people are all bundled up, the dogs have on Christmas sweaters, and Christmas carols fill the air.  This sidewalks are so packed it's hard to even move and hugs are all around.
We love the Holiday Walk, it's one of the greatest events our little town has.
Christmas is finally here!!
Merry Christmas Everyone!