Monday, December 21, 2009

Mistletoe

As a kid my family had several traditions. From going out to the edge of the woods to cut down a cedar for our Christmas tree to moving mom's ceramic NOEL blocks around to say LEON. But one that stands out most vividly is going with my dad out to find Mistletoe. Every year near Christmastime dad & I would search the trees for mistletoe. Dad would always bring along his old shotgun, tell me to stand back and hold my ears, a few blast and it would fall to the ground and I would rush to gather it all up in a bag. Later I would take little bundles of it and tie with ribbon to hang in several locations throughout the house, places that we felt sure people would stand under long enough for someone to catch them and plant a big one on them. Just the thought of it was a guaranteed belly laugh for my brother and I. The biggest laughs were when mom would grab the mistletoe and chase dad around the house to give him a big ole smooch. Dad would always run from her acting like he couldn't stand the kiss,yet always grinning like a possum when doing so.

From the earliest times mistletoe has been one of the most magical, mysterious, and sacred plants of European folklore. It was considered a bestower of life and fertility; a protectant against poison; and an aphrodisiac.
And for those who wish to observe the correct etiquette: a man should pluck a berry when he kisses a woman under the mistletoe, and when the last berry is gone, there should be no more kissing!

This is the way most of us think of Mistletoe but did you know that all mistletoes are parasitic, meaning they grow into a host tree and "steal" nutrients for growth. Though most mistletoes don't outright kill their tree-host, they can weaken them over time and ultimately be the cause of tree death. As the name indicates, Oak Mistletoe is found mostly in oak trees, but may also be found in other hardwoods. This particular species isn't known to grow in pines or conifers in our area. Mistletoes are particularly easy to spot at this time of year when the leaves of the hardwood trees have fallen.
My hubby and I still carry on the tradition of shooting down the Mistletoe....and as mom and dad did, I chasing my hubby with the mistletoe in hand had he running from me.:)))

Remember, All parts of mistletoe are poisonous to cats and dogs and not good for human consumption either, the berries are poisonous so be sure keep it away from little ones.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS & MERRY CHRISTMAS !



10 comments:

  1. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas this year.

    Debbie

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  2. We alway put up mistletoe in our house too. Aren't tradations lovely. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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  3. Thanks for warning of its danger.I did not know this.I now have a puppy in my home and misletoe.
    This is such a lovely post.Thank you for sharing all this info and glammer.The photos are wonderful
    Merry Christmas and May god bless you and your family,
    XXOO Marie Antionette

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  4. Hey I learned something new about mistletoe tonight just by reading your blog. That's great info. I don't believe I have actually seen mistletoe growing anywhere so that is a special tradition for you and your family. Have a Merry Christmas enjoying the company of family and friends!

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  5. Pammie your story is so cute. Love the grinning like a possum!
    Great blog and very informative.
    Merry Christmas Everyone!

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  6. What a cute and funny story Pam.
    It also was informational.

    Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

    Love Ya!
    Audrey

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  7. Pam, what a very cute post and a wonderful tradition to carry on. Wishing you a and yours a very Merry Christmas.
    ~Nan

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  8. Thanks for the walk down memory lane with you! I truly enjoyed your Mistletoe post!
    Blessings, Lynn

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