(Just in time for Holy Week)
According to legend, Joseph of Arimathea "planted" The Holy Thorn when he visited Britain. While in Glastonbury preaching, he needed to rest, and so he stuck his staff into the ground, where, deciding it liked the area and might like to stay awhile, it sprung out roots and quickly blossomed into a thorn tree. Since then, the tree blossomed every year on Christmas Eve, often at the stroke of midnight, until 1752, when the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in Britain. Since 1752, it has continued to bloom, but now on 5 January, Christmas Eve in the Julian Calendar.
The original Holy Thorn tree was destroyed by anti-fun Puritans, who, like the Grinch, didn't want anyone in England to have a Merry Christmas. Some of the Catholic devotees, however, illustrated their quick thinking and took a few cuttings to preserve the tree. These second-generation Holy Thorns have also blossomed at old Christmas Eve. The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey still have one.