I love the whole idea of mistletoe...I mean how cute is that? You stand under a twig of green leaves and someone has to give you a kiss...now that is a sweet deal. ;o) Thing is, I have never really thought about where mistletoe comes from, or why we even do it. Like who started this whole kissy kissy thing anyways. Some dude that just wanted to get all the ladies in town to kiss him? The history of mistletoe is quite extensive and has a couple changes throughout. I am not super knowledgeable when it comes to mythology of any kind...Greek, Norse or whatever. I know Zeus and all his guys...TV's Hercules cartoon helped me with that! But, in doing a little research this past week, I have found out that mistletoe evolves originally from Norse mythology. That crazy god Loki schemed to have the god Baldr killed by the blind god Höðr by projectile of mistletoe. (what that means...I have no idea. An arrow made of mistletoe???) Anyhow, like how many stories change over the years, mistletoe soon became an example of male "divine" essence...fertility being a part of that. The thought of great fertility came from the little white berries which I guess they felt represented semen. ha ha ha! Sometime in the 3rd century, the ideology of mistletoe was changed with the widespread "new" christian religion and over the years to come it somehow became how we use it now. (wikipedia doesn't even know!) "Kissing" under the mistletoe dates back to as early as the 16th century in good old England, of course. ;o) The boys were allowed to kiss the girls underneath the mistletoe that hung in the doorway...each time a kiss was granted, a berry was removed from the mistletoe. Once all berries were removed, no more kisses were given. Soooo cute!
Before this week, I had no clue where the sweet little green leafy twig even came from. Being that we are with my parents down in Texas this Christmas, we are doing things their way. Which is the way I like it, the way I grew up...the way that makes me feel warmth and love. We always had a sprig of mistletoe at the front door at Christmas. My parents kept saying last week that we should go pick some mistletoe before the rest of the family came out. "Where do we buy it", I asked. "It's all over the place, we can pick it ourselves", replied my father. What??? Mistletoe is a parasite that grows in trees. Who knew? It grows there all year long, but you see it best in the winter when the real leaves of the tree drop. They grow in clumps. Eventually they will choke out the tree and kill it. How can such a lovely little plant do that? ;op Well, it does. (remember to take your mistletoe out of the trees in your yard if it's growing. You get to have the kissy fun at Christmas AND save your trees!) Thursday afternoon, Clint, my nephew Samuel and I went for a walk to go see the horses up the street. We found some mistletoe growing in a tree that was low enough for us to get it. We came home victoriously with a big twig of mistletoe. Kisses for everyone this Christmas!!
I wish everyone, all over the world a very Merry Christmas this year. May your home be filled with love, joy and peace. In whatever your traditions may be...may they be Merry and Bright! xox