On Monday we started a series looking at the lyrics to the song “A Song and a Christmas Tree” (Andy Williams’ spin on “Twelve Days of Christmas”). You can take each of the twelve gifts given in the song and find spiritual application.

The third gift given is “three boughs of holly.”

For a long time now, holly has held a prominent place in the homes of Christmas-devotees. Why though? What is the significance of the prickly green leaves and little red berries?

Actually there is a great spiritual significance to them. The pointed leaves are meant to represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified. The red berries are meant to signify the drops of blood that the Lord shed because of the thorn-twisted crown. In fact, in Scandinavia the holly plant is known as the “Christ Thorn.”

Though many think of Jesus as a celebration of Jesus’ birth (though a December birth is impossible and to be precise the Lord was either born in March of September, but I digress), this plant continues to be a stark reminder of the death of the Christ King and of the great pain that death was to Him.

May we never forget it!