Holly wreaths were given as gifts during the Roman festival Saturnalia, which is believed by many to be the festival from which Christmas was originally adapted.
According to some stories, it is said that only the holly tree consented to be cut down and its wood made into a cross to bear Jesus. Some Christians believe that Jesus wore a crown of holly thorns whose berries were originally white. As Jesus' blood touched the berries, they turned red. The green leaves of the holly plant have come to represent everlasting life and the berries the blood of Jesus.