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.