Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mistletoe


            Mistletoe:  A botanical prop that enables those who are unable to receive a fair maiden’s kiss voluntarily, the access to one through entrapment.

 
           The history behind this odd bit of greenery dates back to the 13th century a.d. The earliest documented case of kissing under the mistletoe dates from 16th century England, a custom that was apparently very popular at that time.

            Its naming origin is less than flattering. The word in German Mist, stands for dung; and Tang (letoe) for branch, since mistletoe can be spread in the feces of birds moving from tree to tree. However, Old English mistel was also used for basil; so we’ll go with that one for this time.

            But beforehand, according to custom, the mistletoe must not touch the ground between its cutting and its removal as the last of Christmas greens. Why? Who knows, I was not able to nail that down.

            The mistletoe was hung up throughout the house and especially in the kitchen (more girls to kiss in that part of the house I presume) 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. (key here when buying Mistletoe then is…).

            This plant’s berries are also poisonous and therefore should also be kept up high… Oh, that’s right, they already are up high. Just tell the “kissies” not to put the plucked berries down anywhere near the white M&Ms.

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