Christmas Traditions > Mistletoe

Mistletoe has long been a symbol of love, peace and goodwill. In the ancient Druid society, warring clans would stop their battles and claim a temporary truce when they would chance upon mistletoe.

The Druids believed mistletoe fell from heaven and grew onto a tree that sprang from Earth. Mistletoe thus represented the joining of heaven and earth, and God’s reconciliation with mankind. A kiss under mistletoe symbolized acceptance and reconciliation.

It is possible that this embrace of goodwill among enemies may have eventually led to the traditional kiss under the mistletoe. Some cultures say that if a man kisses a woman while she is standing under mistletoe, it is a proposal of marriage. Most cultures around the world however, now just view a person standing under mistletoe as being available for a kiss.

Mistletoe can usually be spotted fairly easily in trees. If the trees have lost most of its leaves, look for roundish clumps of foliage within the bare branches. That’s mistletoe.