3 Days ‘til Christmas….. Mistletoe

I hung a small token of Mistletoe under a doorway for my birthday/ Christmas party last week. I think it went unnoticed, but I plan to stand under it soon and see if anything happens. I remember shooting it out of the tops of trees back in Oklahoma. Of course we were in our 20’s and it was within the city limits, so it was done quickly and with no apparent harm (except bad aim). Still the notion of having this branch above the door became an interesting discovery when I ran across some articles on the history of the plant.

So the plant is spread through bird poo. Yep, and we stand under it for a kiss. The host tissue (a tree) is its target and grows out of the branch. It’s poisonous to us, but promotes wildlife as a great source of food. Birds rely on the plant and butterflies lay their eggs on it and use the nectar.

Through the centuries it has been thought to have majestic powers and was hung in doorways to ward off bad spirits and against witchcraft. It was utilized in rituals to heal various diseases like epilepsy and ulcers, and more importantly promoted fertility and conception. It was oddly used to find treasures. Mostly it was considered to have a profound effect on people’s lives and imaginations. After the 3rd Century, mistletoe was integrated to an extent into Christianity. The earliest documented case of kissing under the mistletoe dates from 16th century England, a custom that was very popular during the Christmas season for its powers of fertility!

So snag a branch and hang it from the doorway. See if sparks fly under the mistletoe this year. Sounds like fun to me and hope to see you under the mistletoe soon!

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