Why Mistletoe?


Holiday traditions can be very interesting (no, I’m not talking about your Uncle Fred’s choice in sweater). In truth, I like to talk about dates and their significance (or myths) as the calendar approaches them.

Many people who celebrate Christmas hang Mistletoe in their homes. We know anytime love interests pass underneath it, it’s a great excuse for them to exchange a kiss. Parents torment their kids with this. Young lovers conveniently find each other under it. Long time partners enjoy a moment of youthful bliss beneath sprigs.

But do you know where the tradition originated?

How about a little holiday trivia?

Kissing under the Mistletoe comes from Frigga, the Norse goddess of love.

Frigga’s son, Balder, told his mom that he dreamt of his death. Of course, she was a worried mother who rushed around town asking people to promise her son would not die. But his dream became reality. He was killed with a Mistletoe arrow.

As all myths go, Balder came back to life and his distraught mother cried tears of joy that transformed into pearly mistletoe berries. She then kissed anyone when passing by Mistletoe. The idea being, that anyone who received a kiss under the mistletoe tree could never be harmed.

There are two other stories where Mistletoe and kissing come to play:

Freya, the goddess of love in an Anglo-Saxon legend, proclaimed that all men must kiss the young girls who stood below a Mistletoe sprig hanging from the ceiling.

Also, another custom actually required Mistletoe – all of it used to decorate homes – should be burned on Twelfth Night or any couple who kissed under it would never get married.

Regardless of which legend you believe, I hope that your moments under the Mistletoe are filled with kisses of joy, and that your holiday season shines as bright as your soul.