Holly signifies defence and domestic happiness in floriography, and pre-dates Christmas as a symbol of the Roman festival Saturnalia.
in pagan lore, the Holly King rules the darker half of the year (from midsummer to midwinter), with the Oak King ruling the lighter half.
Bring holly into your home to invite the faerie folk to shelter and stay with you.
Holly is also the 'wool of bat' in Shakespeare's witches' potion, along with mustard seed ('eye of newt'), buttercup ('toe of frog') and houndstongue ('tongue of dog'). Combine in one trinket to make a perfect witchy literary gift.