The custom of decorating houses at Christmastide with evergreen
plants—holly, ivy, box, laurel, mistletoe—is sometimes
said to have originated when Christianity was introduced into
Europe in order to typify the first British church, built of evergreen
boughs. More probably it extends back into antiquity. In
Druidic times, people decorated their houses with evergreen
plants so that the sylvan spirits might come there to shelter
from the severity of winter until their leafy bowers were renewed
in the coming year. It was a widespread superstition that
it was unlucky to remove evergreen Christmas decorations until
after Twelfth Night.

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