"The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown."
For the Romans, "Holly was used to honor Saturn, god of agriculture, during their Saturnalia festival held near the time of the winter solstice. The Romans gave one another holly wreaths, carried it in processions, and decked images of Saturn with it," according to the Kentucky Cooperative Extension (the Saturnalia was the festival upon which the Christmas holiday was directly modeled). Evergreens such as Christmas holly were adopted by common Christians as a Christmas decoration, in spite of protests from Church Fathers such as Tertullian. - Excerpt from Christmas Holly: History, Winter Solstice by David Beaulieu