December’s Birth Month Flowers: Holly and Narcissus Illuminate the Season

December marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and brings with it two classic flowers: holly and narcissus. As the birth blooms for this month, they hold symbolic meaning and holiday significance.

In this comprehensive guide, we dive deep into the history, meaning, botany, care tips, and decorative uses for December’s birthday blooms. Whether you’re looking for a thoughtful gift, want to brighten up your home during the holidays, or simply appreciate learning about the folklore surrounding plants, you’ll find everything you need to know about December birth month flowers here.

The Meaning of December Birth Month Flowers

The two traditional birth flowers for the month of December are the paperwhite narcissus and holly. Both of these plants have long-standing symbolic significance tied to the winter season that makes them perfect floral emblems for people born in the last month of the year.

With its delicate white blooms that emerge even in the snow, the paperwhite narcissus represents hope, rebirth, and new beginnings – all themes that resonate strongly during the holidays. This member of the daffodil family has its roots in ancient Greek mythology, adding poetic meaning to its wintertime beauty.

Holly, with its vibrant red berries and pointy leaves, has been a staple Christmas decoration for centuries. Its ability to thrive year-round serves as a reminder of life’s continuity during the dormant winter months. The spiky leaves and crimson-hued fruit also represent the crown of thorns and blood of Christ in Christian tradition.

Beyond just holiday flair, both the paperwhite and holly symbolize optimism, perseverance, and bright spots during dark times. Their rich histories give them a special place in December holiday rituals across cultures. For those born in the final month of the year, these flowers make meaningful emblems to represent their spirit and personality.

Holly: A Festive Symbol of the Season

Holly, with its vibrant green leaves and red berries, has been a beloved symbol of the holiday season for centuries. Its use in Christmas decorations dates back to ancient Rome and Great Britain, where it was believed to ward off evil spirits.

Holly Meaning and Symbolism

  • An evergreen shrub with pointed, glossy leaves and red berries
  • Symbolizes hope, resilience, and continuity through the winter
  • Spiky leaves represent the crown of thorns in Christianity
  • Believed to protect against evil spirits in ancient times
  • A traditional Christmas decoration for centuries

In Christianity, the spiky leaves of holly are said to symbolize the crown of thorns worn by Jesus. Today, holly is commonly used in wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces to bring a festive touch to homes and celebrations.

Holly: A Versatile Evergreen

With over 400 species, holly grows across North America, China, Japan, and Europe. While often used in holiday decor, it has year-round versatility:

  • Provides food and shelter for birds with its berries and dense foliage
  • Used to make chessboards, walking sticks, and whip handles
  • Adds interest as hedges, foundation plants, and borders

Holly requires full sun and acidic soil. Pruning in late fall or spring helps maintain size. Caution: holly leaves and berries are poisonous to humans and pets when ingested.

Beyond its decorative value, holly also plays a vital role in the natural world. Its berries provide winter food for birds, while its dense foliage offers shelter and protection.

Discovering the Beauty of Narcissus (Paperwhite)

Narcissus, the second December birth month flower is often called paperwhites, and belong to the amaryllis family. Their name comes from the Greek myth of the vain youth Narcissus.

The name “Narcissus” comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection.

  • Native to the Mediterranean
  • Produce elegant white blooms even in winter
  • Fragrant flowers that symbolize purity and respect
  • Given as gifts to convey faithfulness and compassion
Narcissus (Paperwhite)
Native toMediterranean region
Flower colorWhite
SymbolismPurity, faithfulness, respect

Unveiling the Mythical Origins of Narcissus

Discover the captivating tale of the Greek mythological figure Narcissus and the mystical origins behind this enchanting compound noun.

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a beautiful young man who was known for his exceptional beauty and arrogance. According to the myth, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water and was so captivated by his own image that he couldn’t tear himself away. Eventually, he wasted away and transformed into the flower that we now know as the narcissus.

This myth serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of excessive self-love and vanity. Today, the term ‘narcissus’ is used to describe someone who’s overly self-involved or preoccupied with their own appearance.

The story of Narcissus continues to resonate with us, reminding us of the importance of humility and self-awareness.

The History and Significance of Birth Month Flowers

The tradition of birth month flowers has its origins in ancient folklore and legends. Specific blooms came to represent each month of the year, taking on symbolic meaning and cultural heritage.

This custom was popularized during the Victorian era. But the idea of attaching significance to flowers based on birth month stretches back much further.

Birth month flowers make for thoughtful birthday gifts that go beyond a simple bouquet. They feel deeply personal and special to the recipient. Each flower connects to key themes and meanings tied to that time of year. Receiving a birth flower is a way to honor someone’s spirit and personality through botanical symbolism.

So gifting blooms associated with a person’s birth month recognizes their place in the cycle of seasons and year. It taps into the rich histories and meanings unique to each plant. A personalized present, rooted in tradition.

Celebrating with December’s Birth Flowers

The rich histories and symbolic associations of holly and narcissus make them ideal for holiday celebrations:

  • Create festive arrangements with holly sprigs, berries, and narcissus blooms
  • Grow paperwhites to enjoy the floral scent indoors
  • Gift a narcissus bulb planted in a decorative pot for a unique present
  • Decorate a Yule log with holly leaves or clip twigs to make wreaths
  • Infuse vinegar with holly leaves and berries for a unique Salad dressing

However you choose to enjoy them, these plants wonderfully reflect December’s spirit of hope, renewal, and cherished traditions.

Narcissus brings a touch of elegance and beauty to the winter season, making it a wonderful choice for December celebrations.


So there you have it, the captivating December birth month flowers, Holly and Narcissus.

Holly and narcissus, the December birth month flowers, have long held meaning and purpose tied to the winter season. With its lush red berries and pointed leaves, holly represents resilience and continuity.

The elegant blooms of paperwhite narcissus symbolize optimism and rebirth even in the darkest times. These plants remind us that even short winter days hold beauty and hope. Their rich heritage makes holly and narcissus thoughtful birthday gifts or festive holiday decorations during December.

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