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I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

By Carol Clark

My mother always had a plastic mistletoe decoration that we hung from a doorway at Christmas. You couldn't miss the big ball with the red felt ribbon, so if someone was hanging out under the fake decor, they were hoping for a little attention. I always wondered where the heck this thing came from and why people kissed under it.

Around the time I was in middle school, I found REAL mistletoe in the drug store for sale. It was a must have. If you could possibly get someone to eat it it would give them a stomachache. (Mistletoe is mildly poisonous to humans). This is great middle-school fun.   

Mistletoe, which means "thief of the tree," is actually a partial parasite or a hemi-parasite that sinks its roots into a host tree and sucks the nutrients out of the host plant. Kind of like your kids...

The name "mistletoe" actually comes from two Anglo Saxon words Mistel - (which means dung) and 'tan' (which means) twig or stick! So you could translate Mistletoe as 'poo on a stick!

Years ago, scientists observed the plant growing on trees that were covered in bird dung. They believed the plant came from the bird poop itself. It wasn't until years later they realized the plant was coming from seeds in the dung.

The hanging of mistletoe comes from the Druids who believed it was a mystical plant that warded off evil and brought luck to the household. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe came from England where a berry would be plucked before the kissing. When the berries were gone, there was no more kissing allowed.

Who knew?  Kissing under a stick of poo.....

 

 


 

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