Christmas Traditions: Mistletoe

While the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is a long-standing and Christmas tradition, the mistletoemistletoe plant itself is anything but romantic.

A parasitic plant that grows on trees along the eastern coast of North America, mistletoe was believed to have been spread through bird droppings. In fact, the word “mistel” is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “dung” and “toe” means “twin”. So mistletoe quite literally means “dung on a twig.”

If that image doesn’t make you want to pucker up, consider this: Mistletoe has also long been believed to carry magical powers. The Druids believed that mistletoe, which also grows on oak trees throughout Europe, represented the tree’s soul and sexual prowess. The mistletoe would be gathered mid-summer and mid-winter and used to decorate one’s home. During the Middle Ages, mistletoe branches were hung to protect homes from evil spirits. Northern Europeans believed that mistletoe could help ward off witches.

The very first people to believe in the magic of mistletoe were the ancient Greeks. The ancient Greeks thought that mistletoe was imbued with the powered fertility, an antidote to poison, and also a powerful aphrodisiac.

In fact, during the festival of Saturnalia, the ancient Greeks would kiss under the mistletoe, which later became customary during marriage rites as well.

The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe on Christmas emerged in Europe during the Middle Ages. The original custom held that each time a man kissed a woman under a twig of mistletoe, he should remove one of the berries. Once all the berries were gone, no more kissing could take place under that twig.



Nwt Mackenzie Childs Mistletoe Tree Skirt 60
Nwt Mackenzie Childs Mistletoe Tree Skirt 60" Diameter New Handmade
$385.0


Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver 4-sided Mistletoe Ornament picture
Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver 4-sided Mistletoe Ornament
$375.0


Mark Roberts 51-97050 Santa Collection Mistletoe Magic Santa 24.5 Inches picture
Mark Roberts 51-97050 Santa Collection Mistletoe Magic Santa 24.5 Inches
$355.95


Katherine’s Collection Mistletoe Christmas Tree Skirt picture
Katherine’s Collection Mistletoe Christmas Tree Skirt
$337.5


Katherines Collection 16
Katherines Collection 16" Mistletoe Santa Claus Doll Reindeer Christmas Decor
$249.95


Katherine's Collection Santa Claus Mask Meet Me Under The Mistletoe 26” picture
Katherine's Collection Santa Claus Mask Meet Me Under The Mistletoe 26”
$224.99


Mark Roberts Fairies Mistletoe Magic Fairy 51-78020 Large 20 Inches picture
Mark Roberts Fairies Mistletoe Magic Fairy 51-78020 Large 20 Inches
$189.95


Katherine's Collection 2019 “mistletoe Santa With Reindeer” Figure picture
Katherine's Collection 2019 “mistletoe Santa With Reindeer” Figure
$184.95


title: christmas