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Monday, December 12, 2016

Is Holiday Kissing Permissible?

* Gathering of Mistletoe

The Christmas custom of gathering mistletoe had its beginning even before the birth of Christ.
Mistletoe dates back thousands of years, say, from the Celtics of the 1st century A.D.  It was then  noted for its healing properties.  The Greeks used it to cure spleen disorders, and, one Roman naturalist, "Pliny the Elder", used mistletoe as a balm against epilepsy and ulcers.

In old-time Britain (England), white-robed priests, or Druids, would climb a sacred oak tree in order to cut the mistletoe, using a golden sickle.  Mistletoe was believed to have mystical powers, and, the Druidess maidens would hold a white cloth to catch it before it touched the ground.  Mistletoe was regarded as a sign of peace and good fortune, and it has been said that the Druids actually brought romanticism to the plant.  The plant is evergreen, and could blossom during the winter, bringing forth the belief that mistletoe is a symbol of vivacity.   Thus, mistletoe was administered to humans and animals, in hopes of restoring fertility.

Yes...Druidess, a female member of the Druids is a word.
courtesy of

Mistletoe sprig that fell to the ground * photo by Suzanne
Little Fossil Park * Fort Worth, Texas

*** from the Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine: 

In alternative medicine, the leaves, twigs, and sometimes the berries of mistletoe are used. In Europe, mistletoe remedies range from tea made with mistletoe leaves to injections of Iscador. While European research indicates that mistletoe is safe and effective, sources in the United States maintain that the berries are poisonous and that the herb can cause liver damage.

Well, then, enough tutoring for one day, you think?  Mistletoe grows pretty much everywhere in Texas.  It can be seen nearly everyday as you drive through the neighborhood.  Why...I believe anyone with a tree or two in their yard, probably owns a clump or two of it.  It just can almost hear it say, "Stop, and blow me a kiss!"   I just look up and smile, remembering days gone by!

  I grew up in Kansas City, and don't remember ever seeing mistletoe attached and growing from a tree...but, it was in high demand during the Christmas season for those fun holiday parties!

For a parasite, (well, some say it's a "partial" parasite), mistletoe brings a lot of laughter and joy to our hearts at Christmastime.  It carries a certain mystery with it...a certain "romantic" mystery.   And, tradition holds that, "Each time someone is kissed, a white berry should be picked.  When the berries are all gone, the power of the mistletoe is gone, too."  We pretend we don't want to get caught under it, but, we usually succumb to the spell!

I'd say Mistletoe is a keeper...what do you think?😘

~Mistletoe attached to tree * Little Fossil Park * Haltom City, Texas
photo by Suzanne * December 11, 2016

~ This is a large clump hanging from a tree branch at Little Fossil Park
photo by Suzanne * December 11, 2016

I'm going to stop for a moment and thank the following: 👍
Yahoo images, other than photos that are labeled
Little Fossil Park * Haltom City, TX

*** I want to thank you all for coming by today, and hope you are doing well!  I know you're all pretty busy right now, preparing for the holidays.  There's so much to do this time of year...getting ready for Santa is a real job!  But, if you get the chance, please step in to say hello.  I'd love to see you.

If I don't get to see you before Christmas, I want to wish you all happiness, health and love, always!  Merry Christmas from MyTexasGardens!

P.S.  Let me know if you get caught under the Mistletoe...I'm hanging mine up now!

"Christmas, my child, is love in action."
~Dale Evans