Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

The Mistletoe Mission

Lovely, lovely mistletoe.  A seemingly innocuous bit of foliage that people hang over doorways at Christmastime, in an effort to put to work the proposed magical properties to encourage holiday kissing.  Mistletoe is an odd little hemi-parasitic plant that grows attached to and within the branches of trees or shrubs.  Left uncontrolled it can end up damaging or even killing the host tree it lives on.  Talk about your nasty co-dependent love affair.  Ironically, mistletoe is a poisonous plant that if ingested can cause acute gastrointestinal problems which can include stomach problems, diarrhea and a dangerously low pulse.  Wow.  The rush of love can be an awful lot like that, but with an increased heart rate.

The etymology of the word mistletoe is believed to be related to two combined ancient words for dung and branch, since it can be spread in the feces of birds moving from tree to tree.  I’m not sure who the cynic was on that panel, but I could see where a soured love affair could lead someone to make that connection.

Ancient Celts hung mistletoe over the doors of their homes, believing that the sacred nature of the plant meant that fighting was prohibited beneath it.  Over time, it became tradition that any couple pausing under a sprig of mistletoe must kiss (many cultures take credit for this because, thank goodness, apparently kissing is a universal theme).  One story goes that for every girl kissed under the mistletoe, one of the white berries from the plant must be plucked.  When the berries are all gone, the kissin’ has to stop.  Oh, like that would be a powerful enough deterrent for some.  Of us.

Imagine, a world with more customs like this, where you’d have a duty to be loving and affectionate to those nearby.  Be still my beating heart.  Why are there not other requirements in this vein?  I don’t know how you get that job, but I think I’d like to be on the board that makes up that handbook.  This book would ultimately be filled with guidelines on the When and Where, with the Who and How being left to card-carrying members of the club.

This handbook would have many sections to choose from including location, occasions, calendar dates, politics and transportation (bussing, get it?!) to name a few.  With items like:

  • Any couple stuck in traffic under a freeway overpass at corresponding clock numbers (10:10, 11:11, etc.) have to kiss. 
  • Couples who miss a train/bus/taxi having to wait for the next vehicle have to hug until the next vehicle arrives (unless packages and luggage are involved, leaning on one another will do).
  • Each and every full moon requires a minimum of hands being held near any object or location of beauty (Half Dome, Grand Canyon, waterfalls, etc. – and the person you’re with does not count as the thing of beauty, no matter how gorgeous they are.  We do have rules).
  • If nature gives you a show (rainbows, first snow, tropical squall, etc.) show your appreciation.  Kisses are in order.
  • Every morning must begin with a hug or kiss (complimented by a warm and toasty beverage gets you additional brownie points.  I suggest you go for it).

So, listen up.  This entire project is going to require many volunteers to participate in the collection of instructions and guidelines, but more importantly – I’m going to need you to set an example.  Starting today.  And that mistletoe business is as good a place as any to start.

Merry Christmas to all and… the good night is up to you.

xo – t.

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