There has been much debate about whether holly represents the masculine or feminine principal. One school of thought considers it to be masculine because of its prickly nature and see the red berries as being symbolic of the sacrificial God spilling his blood upon the fields. Another school of thought considers it to be feminine, and that the red berries symbolise the menstrual blood of the Goddess.
The Saxons however, recognised that holly could represent both the male and female principal. They called holly without berries 'he' holly and holly with berries was referred to as 'she' holly. If more 'he' holly than 'she' was brought into the house, then the husband would rule the home for the following year, whilst if more 'she' holly was present then the wife would be in charge.
Perhaps we should all aim for a little of each in order to bring balance and harmony this winter solstice.
From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'