Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Fergus is hiding again! Make sure you read the article as you must answer a question to get the candy!

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Ayla Faullin, Reporter/Feature Writer

It’s a dream-like cliche for a romantic: Standing in a doorway or arch, perhaps at a Christmas party, or perhaps a lonely midnight train station. Someone comes up next to you, perhaps your significant other, or your secret love. They smile at you warmly, grab your hand and lean in. You look up, and hanging above you is a sprig of leafy green, with little red berries. You close your eyes, lean in close, and wait for a kiss.

Kissing under the mistletoe is a popular Christmas trope, but why do we do it? Where did mistletoe become involved in holiday traditions, and why with kissing? The oldest mention of mistletoe symbolism in history comes from Celts, who thought mistletoe could represent vivacity, or liveliness because it bloomed even in the frozen winter. 

Mistletoe also comes up in Norse mythology. When Odin’s mother Frigg heard that he was destined to die, she descended to earth, begging each of the plants and animals not to be the death of her son. However, according to legend, she forgot to request this of the mistletoe. The god Loki then made an arrow out of the plant and used it to kill Odin. After Odin died, they were able to resurrect him, and Frigg was so happy she declared she would kiss anyone who walked underneath the mistletoe, and it became a symbol of love. 

How did mistletoe become involved in Christmas traditions? That still is a question historians can’t quite answer. As a symbol of love, the kissing tradition caught on in lower-class servants before spreading to the rest of the population. It was said to be bad luck on any lady that refused a kiss if she was caught underneath the mistletoe. Men were allowed to steal a kiss from any lady caught underneath it. In another version of the tradition, you were supposed to take a berry from the mistletoe for each kiss, and you didn’t stop kissing until every berry was gone. 

Regardless of how this symbolic herb made the jump from Norse Mythology to Yuletide celebrations, it remains a symbol of love, from the 1st Century A.D. to now. So, if you don’t want to be kissed, or maybe if you do, look up and make sure you spot the leafy sprigs of herbs this Christmas. 

 

Fergus is hiding again!

Guess what, you guys!

I read a book

I heard about the outside

I want to take a look

It’s too cold to go out

But I’ll sit and stare through

a door and a window

Find me, I dare you!