Mistletoe and Santa Claus
One of Santa’s favorite traditions around Christmas time—and surely a favorite tradition of men everywhere during Christmas —is that of mistletoe. When a man catches his wife or special someone under the mistletoe, he gets to plant a kiss on her. Of course, with all other Christmas traditions, this wonderful habit is almost as old as the snow that falls around Christmas time.
It actually all started with an ancient myth from the Nordic people of Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Hundreds of years ago, the goddess Frigga had a son named Balder who was killed by an arrow made of mistletoe. Frigga was so sad that her son died, that she cried and cried, but instead of tears, white berries poured down her cheeks. These were no ordinary white berries, and they actually worked to bring Balder back to life by stripping the poison from the mistletoe. That made Frigga so happy that she blessed all mistletoe, and anyone walking underneath it was given a free kiss.
Of course, the Nordic folks were not the only ancient people who used and believed in the magical powers of mistletoe. The ancient Druids of the United Kingdom were big fans of the evergreen plant, and would distribute it to all the people in their villages. They would hang the plant over the front door of their homes, because they believed that the plant would protect them from evil spirits, goblins, and even thunder and lightening. Druids also believed that mistletoe stood for peace, so if Druid warriors ever met underneath a patch of mistletoe in the forest, they could not fight. They would call a truce and meet somewhere else to fight.
Put all of these traditions and beliefs together—and then mix in the traditions of Christmas and Santa Claus—and you have what would become today’s modern tradition surrounding mistletoe and kisses.
It was not that simple for guys and gals and the magical mistletoe in the 1700s. Back then, kissing was a very serious thing to do with a girl. There was no spin the bottle or truth or dare. If you kissed a girl under the mistletoe, you meant business. Basically, a kiss under the mistletoe meant you were prepared to marry her. On the flip side, if a girl stood under mistletoe at Christmas time and no man kissed her, that meant she would stay unmarried for the entire next year. But the lucky man who would be brave and kiss her could expect a lasting friendship, a deep romance, and happiness with the lucky woman.
We cannot know for sure if this is how good old Saint Nick got proposed to Mrs. Claus, but we can be sure that the jolly old man hangs a piece of mistletoe in his home in the North Pole. Come to think of it, he probably also hangs a bunch of mistletoe in the reindeer barn, the toy factory, and anywhere else Mrs. Claus might find herself!
About the Author: Thomas Easterday is the Director of Marketing for Letter By Santa. Letter by Santa offers memorable letters from Santa Claus that help keep the Christmas spirit alive. For more information about Letter by Santa and to purchase letters from Santa please visit http://www.letterbysanta.com/ .