Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mistletoe And Evergreens

Division exists between those who say mistletoe must not be brought into the house before New Year's Eve and those whom believe it must be a part of the greenery brought Christmas morning. What all agree on however is the custom of kissing under it. Traditionally a man may take a kiss from a girl standing under the sprig, but only if he plucks a berry from the plant and presents it to her with each kiss . Once the berries are gone , so too the kissing.

Mistletoe and husband divination also go hand in hand, with unmarried women told to swipe sprigs of the plant from the church altars, and hide them in their pillows to bring dreams of their future husbands. Unmarried girls would supervise the burning of old mistletoe to see how it went. Steady flames were good signs, but the spluttering ones foretold of cross and bad tempered husbands.

Evergreens brought home from church are said to be especially lucky and should be hung in the house and remain up all year to bring good fortune.
Evergreens are symbolic of enduring and renewed life which is why we decorate our homes with them at Christmastime.
Our ancestors decorated their homes with holly, ivy, and rosemary, bay, and laurel plus anything that still showed green. Our choices today have become standardized as we do not observe allot of the rituals of the past with one such as holly believed to have protective powers, especially against the witches and lightening. The bush itself treated with great reverence, and used to clean chimneys. Holly is seen as a masculine plant and ivy a feminine one, leading to them being united at Christmas.


Anonymous said...

I think Mistletoe is beautiful but because of our Fur Babies we do not have live Mistletoe in the house....
Merry Christmas!

Celestial Charms said...

We have two huge holly bushes in front of our home, and I love to admire them this time of year. We always hang an artificial mistletoe arrangement above my kitchen entrance, but I didn't realize that traditionally it wasn't brought out until around the New Year.

English Cottage in Georgia said...

Very interesting post...I am going to be more reflective when choosing and bringing greenery into the house to decorate for Christmas.

Sandi said...

Hi Marietta,
I love holly and rosemary especially. Someday I would love to have a holly bush. Do they grow around here in our part of the world? Loved this post!

Lyneen said...

Interesting to read the traditions we have lost. TFS and thanks for dropping by my blog and entering my blogoversary giveaway. Good luck!

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Holly, Mistletoe and such are wonderful and vintage traditions for Christmas...I love it myself.
And amytime I can be hugged or kissed by a loved one is at the top of my wish list.

Maureen has reminded to bring in some holly and berries from our bushes outside for a Christams bouquet.