Come December, couples will be found lingering under laden doorways.
Couples not yet coupled will avoid it like the plague, for under it demands the “Define The Relationship” discussion.
The culprit is in the mind of every preteen boy, or rather, over it. But whether you are the kisser or disser, harmony can be found in dealing with this holiday ritual.
The mistletoe tradition has varied roots.
Despite its Anglo-Saxon etymology, ‘mistel‘, meaning “dung,” and “tan,” meaning “twig,” its romantic association prevailed.
For centuries it was believed to increase life and fertility. As the Norse legend goes, Balder, son of the goddess Frigga, was killed by an evil spirit with an arrow made of mistletoe. Saddened by her son’s death, Frigga wept tears of white berries, which brought Balder back to life. Frigga was so overjoyed that she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to all who passed beneath it.
The British custom was to pick a berry from the sprig of mistletoe before the person could be kissed. When all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing. For centuries, it has been the scapegoat for romantic advances, but not all welcome the excuse to smooch.
If caught under its confines, you will be faced with the uncomfortable decision to make-out or move-out. Repercussions are weighty, ability to escape its holiday party presence – unlikely.
The plant is a botanic bother as well. As mistletoe grows on a tree, it invades a tree’s bark, allowing it to absorb the tree’s nutrients, sometimes causing deformities in its branches.
If your personal space has already been invaded, immediately “friend-zone” by declaring said kiss was strictly out of holiday tradition.
To avoid an unwanted smooch altogether, carry packs of garlic gum to ward off any suitors. Above all, be vigilant of any hanging greenery for the next month.
No Mistletoe Manifesto regulating proper conduct has been recorded, leaving individuals to their own devices.
Should you be the one making use of mistletoe’s services, do not loiter in its locale until desired target is directly under its boughs. Mind your mistletoe manners, for an unexpected and incoming smooch can send an unwilling recipient to the slopes.
Should the person be of mutual romantic feelings, do not make mistletoe a holiday stop sign at every entryway as if it were a duty to December.
To Kiss or Question?
But still, mistletoe begs many specifics to question.
Can we actually distinguish mistletoe from any other bouquet of leaves? Does any assorted bushel of leaves hung during the month of December defend a kissing case? Must one locate and pluck from tree, or will Wal-Mart’s pre-packaged plant suffice?
And what about the kissing itself? Must it be on cheek? Lips? Is there a seconds-ceiling for the snogging?
Is the act reserved for only those you know? You know by name? You know by name and not by blood?
Those not ready to “take it to the next level” with whomever stands under its limbs, will spend the holiday season avoiding doorways and Whoville–caliber decorated districts. Should you decide to pucker up or pass, blame it on season’s tidings.