Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 7, Issue 9
   December 2012
   Interesting Reads

Excerpt from American Agriculturalist, Volume 19, 1860.

Gathering Christmas Greens

Gathering Christmas GreensThe picture represents two little chubby English children, rosy with health, eyes sparkling, and hearts light with happiness, trudging through the snow, with their aprons full of holly, laurel, ivy, and mistletoe, which they have been gathering to dress their cottage. We can imagine how proud they feel with their treasures, and with what satisfaction they will see them when arranged in the parlor, making it look like a fairy bower. They will have a merry Christmas without doubt, for their parents will be quite sure to reward them for such pains-taking.

But why adorn the buildings with evergreens? In old times, in England, there lived a people called Druids. They were the priests of that country, and taught the people to worship imaginary spirits who lived in groves and woods. Evergreens were taken into the houses at this season, that the spirits might come in and find shelter from the cold among their branches. When the people learned the Christian religion, this custom was still kept up, until it became a part of the ceremony observed in celebrating Christmas. The evergreens give a very cheerful appearance to a room, and although the spirits which the Druids believed in do not come in, yet pleasant thoughts and happy feelings are excited, and thus good spirits take possession of the heart.

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