Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I am finally feeling a little bit better and went out for a short time this morning just to get out of the house. With it being so close to Christmas (hard to believe in 14 days), a little themed post seems appropriate. I had noticed in one particular area, that mistletoe was beginning on several trees in that area. Curious as most of the time you see bunches high in the tree where this was only head high.
The custom of kissing under the mistletoe was described in 1820 by American author Washington Irving in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon.  “The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush.  When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.”
In Old English, mistiltan, current day mistletoe, is of possible German origins from Mist for dung and Tang for branch.  Mistletoe is generally spread by birds eating and excreting the seeds then sprouting on the host tree from which it absorbs nutrients.  The North American variety, Phoradendron flavescens is native and grows in trees from New Jersey to Florida.
There is much legend, lore and history associated with mistletoe in many countries.

No comments: