Deck the halls is a phrase that one may hear during the holiday season. We will examine the definition of the term deck the halls, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.
To deck the halls means to decorate for Christmas, especially if one will be entertaining guests. These decorations. may include centerpieces, swags or a garland made of branches or boughs of fir, pine, cedar, balsam or greenery from other types of evergreen limbs. Garlands or wreaths may include smaller Christmas decorative touches such as ribbon, ornaments, or pine cones. To hang a holiday wreath such as a berry wreath is a joyous touch. At Christmas time, the front door is often decorated, making things festive and merry, bringing cheer inside and outside the house. Decking the halls is not confined to literally decorating halls. During the Christmas season, people celebrate by hanging stockings and displaying candles, mistletoe, a figurine of a reindeer, angel, snowman or Santa Clause, nativity sets, baskets, tinsel, bells, a poinsettia, a Christmas tree with tree decorations such as ornaments, colored lights and other Christmas decorations, and any seasonal family treasure or handmade crafts that are a tradition for their particular family. Whether natural decorations from the outdoors or artificial metallic items made of glitter and sparkle, these seasonal adornments create a winter wonderland and bring yuletide spirit. The phrase deck the halls is derived from a well-loved Christmas song, entitled Deck the Halls: “Deck the halls with boughs of holly / Fa la la la la la la la la / ‘Tis the season to be jolly / Fa la la la la la la la la.” One of many Christmas carols with older roots, Deck the Halls takes its melody from the Welsh air Nos Galan which means New Year’s Eve, and dates at least to the 1500s. The lyrics that we sing today were written in 1862 by Thomas Oliphant, a Scottish musician. In this case, the word deck is used to mean to adorn with something ornamental, from the Dutch word decken, meaning to cover. This use of the verb to deck is seen in the phrase all decked out, used to describe someone who has dressed in finery. Related phrases are decks the halls, decked the halls, decking the halls.
ExamplesDowntown Winchester will deck the halls for the Holly Jolly Celebration (The Winchester Star)
At the time “Deck the Halls” made its debut in the United States of the late 19th century, American Jews with a hankering for holiday décor were encouraged to think of Sukkot, not Hanukkah, as the answer to their prayers. (Tablet Magazine)
While the fourth annual Deck the Halls in Pilot Mountain event started with a cold winter rain, the skies soon cleared and Christmas shoppers, along with their families, and others made their way downtown in Pilot Mountain to enjoy a variety of festivities. (The Mount Airy News)
Sandy Springs is decking the halls of City Springs with a set of holiday events, kicked off by the city’s first annual Christmas tree and menorah lighting. (Reporter Newspapers)