From I Promise
Source: A Bless cousin, who would have been a descendant of Johan or Hugo, and who would thus be closely related to Martina from Fee Kaffee. This cousin either grew it for the Christmas market or simply had it and provided it for friends
Significance: It was all over the tower when Promise Grene reluctantly returned for her brother’s wedding.
Author’s inspiration: I like holly, and since I Promise is a Christmas release, I added some to the story
“What’s changed here this time?” Prom asked Corin.
She was angry with him, but wary curiosity overcame sulkiness.
“The tower is full of holly and tinsel.”
Prom winced. “Of course it is. What else?”
Christmas had uneasy connotations for Promise so she didn’t like reminders. Holly also reminded her uncomfortably of herself; shiny and colourful, but also prickly and defensive.
The studio was where the old school room used to be. No one was there, but it brimmed with woodlins, keyboards, flutes and various drums lying in wait for their owners. It was also full of Christmas bells and real holly with wavy sharp-edged leaves.
Peck must have seen her staring because he said, “Tim got that from one of the Bless cousins. There’s mistletoe in with it, so don’t stand about up here near random men unless you want to be kissed.”
Peck, Promise’s brother, seemed to have mixed feelings about the holly too.
Peck looked at the decorations with disfavour. “Holly’s damned prickly stuff,” he said, conjuring a bundle of it onto the floor.
He mentioned it again when he was persuading Prom to stay on and be a bridesmaid at his wedding to Chloe.
“I hope you’ll stay for our wedding, and then for Christmas.”
“At least get Skye to make you a dress? Just in case? Make it Christmassy. Something with holly berries maybe? Or you can use some of these holly leaves and prickle people properly instead of verbally.”
Not only the tower was full of holly. It spilled over into the Thymelines Gallery, though that was painted rather than actual, into Deek Caffrey’s conversation…
“Is that Christmas pudding I smell? Do people try to eat you?” Promise asked.
Deek grinned. “Well, hell! I guess I asked for that. Luckily Shar likes the smell of me. Likes the taste, too. And so far, she’s resisted the urge to tip brandy over me and crown me with a sprig of holly. Come to think of it…”
Holly also spilled into the Over Here B&B which Promise visited with Deek’s son, Valentine.
Her cousin Quinn was sitting in Reception, almost invisible behind swags of holly and ivy laced with Christmas lights. He was playing The Pixies’ Christmas on a sweetwood flute, but he stopped when he saw who it was.
Quinn evidently liked holly, because he provided Prom and Valentine with coffee…
…steaming in a pale green pot decorated with sprigs of holly. A small round cake sat on a matching plate.