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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


  1. Hi, Suzanne!

    This was an interesting and timely essay on the history and supposed magical qualities and benefits of mistletoe. Like you I don't remember ever seeing mistletoe growing on trees back home in Pennsylvania, only dangling from above at holiday parties. Yessum, from the age of 5 or 6 through my teenage years and beyond I got caught under the mistletoe many times. As I recall I was usually embarrassed about having to engage in a public display of affection (on demand) and blushed whenever I was forced to smooch a girl. :)

    I didn't realize you have so much mistletoe growing in Texas. Any on your property? Do you know if it does any harm to the host tree? I don't know if I would trust drinking mistletoe tea. The American doctors are probably right when they claim it could damage the liver.

    Hey, what's going on here? We were enjoying a nice cool down for the last week, Suzanne, but today when I went out to run errands it felt like the 4th of July. The heat is even harder to take when it suddenly returns after a refreshing break.

    I hope Scootie Potter is getting excited about Christmas. He is very lucky to have you to love and guide him and serve as a great role model in Karo's absence.

    This was a fun and educational post, Suzanne. Please take good care of yourself and have a wonderful week. Talk to you soon!

    1. Good Evening Shady! I guess you're just having one last spurt of summer just to keep you on your toes. It was pretty cool here today, but the sun was out and shining.

      I do have some mistletoe on my property, but it is up too high for me to get a good close-up without falling backwards. And, I had Scootie at the park on Sunday-I knew there would be some great specimens there! Somehow the mistletoe attaches to the tree and sends up roots that penetrate into the tree to access its nutrients.

      In answer to your question regarding danger to the trees, rarely does mistletoe kill the trees, but if the sucker roots spreads enough, it can. And, it is not suggested to use a chemical to kill the mistletoe, because then it could harm or kill the tree. The best solution is to cut off the limb (haha, if you can reach it!) 2 feet from the mistletoe.

      I'm not grows on every street in town! I have actually had my son cut it to send to my mom in Kansas City. Nothing like fresh mistletoe to garnish a party!

      Well, Scootie is excited about Christmas. He will be here for a couple of days or more that week. He's hoping for snow, so, we'll see! Thank you so much for coming by, Shady and having this great discussion. I also hid from the mistletoe as much as I could, lol! Not that they were lining up there! But, what fun those times, weren't they! Have a great week, I'll send some more cool air your way!♫

  2. Hello, Suzanne! Thank you for sharing all this info on Mistletoe. I never knew that is attaches to a tree. I wish you, Scootie and your family a very Happy Christmas. Enjoy your day!

    1. Good Morning, Eileen. Mistletoe begins as a seed that a range of birds feed on. Then the seeds are distributed onto the host branches by the birds. Evidently, the seeds are kind of sticky and the bird will wipe his beak on the tree branch, leaving the seed there to germinate. It is my understanding that photosynthesis is involved in the growth of the plant on its host tree. I never knew that either!

      Thank you so much for coming by. May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas! It's cool and foggy in Fort Worth this morning. Have a wonderful day!

  3. Hi there Suzanne. You beat me to it! My post tomorrow also features the romantic Mistletoe and its origins! I think it's definitely a Keeper. I'm so glad that little Scooter will be spending some time with you over Christmas. Like Eli and Miss Ruby, I'm sure he's getting very excited about now. What a lovely age ❤️ And it helps to make it more magical for us too. Love your header photo by the way 😊

    1. Hi Thisisme. So good to see you. I hope you're going ahead with your post. I saw a preview of it, but, when I went over it said the page was not available.

      Yes, Scooter is ready and excited. We drove him around over the weekend to look at homes decorated for Christmas. There are some really pretty ones. I took the picture of my header photo through the bus window when my mom, sister and I were arriving in Branson, Missouri. It was a pretty scene. Thank you for coming over to see me. Have a great evening. xxoo

  4. Hi there Dear Suzanne, a very informative post about Mistletoe and the kissing it engenders ;D) I'm glad you're at the stage where you can smile and enjoy the sweet memories of days gone by.
    We have mistletoe here and there throughout our Australian bushland... well, in the Southern States - haven't researched elsewhere.
    You've well researched the subject and I always like the way you present your posts - putting forward items in a gentle way and allowing us to form our own opinions a lot of times once you've filled in some of the missing bits of generally known information.
    Have a wonderful Christmas, lots of hugs, laughter and far too much to eat!! Indulge yourself in other words.
    Cheerio for now, best hugs xoxo :D)

    1. Hello Sue. Strange, but we do have mistletoe somewhere on every street. I guess we have a lot of birds around here to distribute the seeds, haha! The trees on my street are too high to climb and cut the stuff. But some of the trees at the parks are not so old and grown up.

      I'm so glad you came by, Sue! I want to wish you and your family a lovely Christmas, also. I really must try not to overeat, but, that's hard to do. I miss Karo very much, but, I have days of happiness remembering his jokes and laughter.

      Hugs to you Sue, see you soon! ♥


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