Christmas, Traditions

In northern Europe, a walk through a winter's forest is a bleak affair—white, stark, cold, lifeless except for occasional boughs of green holly bearing bright red berries. In Medieval times, these boughs were brought inside to brighten the interior of the small houses. As Christianity spread, people noticed that the thorny points of the holly leaves could symbolize our Lord's crown of thorns. The red berries, His blood. The green color, the new life He gives. Even the word "holly" resembles the word "holy."

How interesting that all nature points to Him who created the earth and died for the world. Romans 1:20says, "Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made."

As you see the blue skies today or the falling snow or the green boughs of holly in homes, stores, and offices, remember: The baby in the manger is the Maker of the universe, and the Christ child we worship is the creator of the cosmos. (Turning Point Daily Devotionals, 12-20-08)