We packed up and got everything ready for our move to
Fort Lauderdale/Miami area to play with Daughter and Grandson.
More information on Christmas happenings.
What's the deal with mistletoe and Christmas?
Let's start out with Mistletoe itself. It is not like a philodendron or a marigold. You have probably never seen mistletoe in the wild. That's because mistletoe is a very weird plant. Mistletoe is actually a parasite -- a plant that grows on another plant. Mistletoe can't survive on its own. In the southern United States, if you know what you are looking for, it is pretty easy to find Mistletoe. Wait for the leaves to fall and look high up in oak trees. You will find the mistletoe as green clumps of leaves and berries growing out of the oak branches. Mistletoe actually sinks its roots into the branches to get the nutrients it needs.
So where did the whole kissing thing come from? The truth is that no one knows for sure. But there are a couple of ancient traditions that involve mistletoe, and they probably have something to do with it.
The whole kissing thing might come from a Viking legend. Around 800 A.D.,
The Legend :
For its supposedly mystical power mistletoe has long been at the center of many folklore. One is associated with the Goddess Frigga. The story goes that Mistletoe was the sacred plant of Frigga, goddess of love and the mother of Balder, the god of the summer sun. Balder had a dream of death which greatly alarmed his mother, for should he die, all life on earth would end. In an attempt to keep this from happening, Frigga went at once to air, fire, water, earth, and every animal and plant seeking a promise that no harm would come to her son. Balder now could not be hurt by anything on earth or under the earth. But Balder had one enemy, Loki, god of evil and he knew of one plant that Frigga had overlooked in her quest to keep her son safe. It grew neither on the earth nor under the earth, but on apple and oak trees. It was lowly mistletoe. So Loki made an arrow tip of the mistletoe, gave to the blind god of winter, Hoder, who shot it , striking Balder dead. The sky paled and all things in earth and heaven wept for the sun god. For three days each element tried to bring Balder back to life. He was finally restored by Frigga, the goddess and his mother. It is said the tears she shed for her son turned into the pearly white berries on the mistletoe plant and in her joy Frigga kissed everyone who passed beneath the tree on which it grew. The story ends with a decree that who should ever stand under the humble mistletoe, no harm should befall them, only a kiss, a token of love. What could be more natural than to translate the spirit of this old myth into a Christian way of thinking and accept the mistletoe as the emblem of that Love which conquers Death? Its medicinal properties, whether real or imaginary, make it a just emblematic of that Tree of Life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations thus paralleling it to the Virgin Birth of Christ.
Mistle toe all fixed up for Christmas. Notice the white berries, tears Frigga shed for her son.
In the wild.