Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Don't Stand Under the Mistletoe. Really - Don't!

Have you found yourself standing under any mistletoe this year?  Nothing wrong with a stolen kiss or two!  I was expecting to find some explanation of this tradition like white for purity and green for the everlasting Father.  But alas, like many other traditions, kissing someone under the sprigs of the plant was transplanted from other sources, probably the Druids or the Norse.  Early Christians tried to outlaw the tradition.  When that was unsuccessful, others tried to welcome it with open arms.  One minister in England held a special Mistletoe service where parishioners could come to have their sins pardoned - with a kiss, I assume.
Image result for mistletoe images

There are two fun facts about this Christmas cupid, though. First, while the berries are poisonous to us, they are good for birds, animals, butterflies and bees.  Secondly, the word actually comes from Anglo Saxons:  "mistle" (meaning dung) and "tan" (meaning twig or stick).  It's pretty, poetic name hides its literal meaning: poo on a stick.  Think about that next time you kiss someone standing under it!

So far, I have done a miserable job of relating this tradition back to Christ.  And I fear I have gone too far flung to make the connection now, but I'll give it a try.  I was going to say let's skip fun fact #2, but maybe not.  Human history being what it is, calling us Mistletoe in the literal sense seems an accurate description.  Yet, God did indeed bend down and give us a kiss.  And not a quick peck on the cheek, either.  He lived and breathed and walked among us.  He cried with us, laughed with us and washed our feet.  His love transforms us, making the unmentionable beautiful and lovable, indeed.  

Mistletoe, what a lovely term and a beloved tradition.

No comments:

Post a Comment