"I know for sure that everything in life happens to help us live."
Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, December 19

Christmas Fun Facts...

Didya know...

...there's a limit to the kissing going on under that mistletoe?? According to Washington Irving in "Christmas Eve:"

The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens
at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of
kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from
the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.

Seems us 21st century folks have conveniently forgotten about that berry-plucking qualifier and just keep right on kissing, with or without berries! It's also said that an unmarried woman not kissed under the mistletoe will remain single for another year, so gather up that green stuff if you want a wedding.

And speaking of berries, didya know...

...that mistletoe is toxic to humans (ingesting it can cause severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, and in some cases can even be fatal) but not animals and insects?? The berries and leaves provide high-protein food for many critters of the forest. Elk and deer eat it when other food is scarce, butterflies feed on the nectar and lay eggs on it, bees gather pollen from it, and birds feed on and nest in it. Go figure!

...that mistletoe is actually a parasite... kind of? More of a hemi-parasite because it has the green leaves needed for photosynthesis, but once it attaches to a host tree, especially a hardwood like oak or apple, it sends out roots that penetrate the tree and rob it of valuable nutrients and minerals! And that the scientific name,
Phoradendron, means "thief of the tree" in Greek?

...that "misteltan" is the Old English version of mistletoe, with "mistel" meaning "dung" and "tan" meaning "twig", so roughly translated from the Anglo-Saxon means "dung-on-a-twig?" Ewwwww!

...that American mistletoe, the kind associated with the kissing thing, is one of 1,300 species worldwide, but one of only two that are native to the US (dwarf mistletoe is the other) and that 20 species are endangered?

...and finally, that mistletoe is Oklahoma's oldest state symbol and the state floral emblem??

Didya know all this stuff?? Me neither...

now I do. :)


At 12/19/2006 1:21 PM, Blogger ~**Dawn**~ said...

dung on a stick?? ewwww!


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