Archive for the ‘mistletoe’ Tag

11/22/2022 “Mistletoe”   Leave a comment

I’m not known for being a huge Christmas fan but when the season hits, I try to get with the program. My way is more subtle than most but at least I’m trying. Since damn near every retailer has already decorated for Christmas, I decided to make my first contribution to Christmas 2022. How about some interesting facts and lore about mistletoe.

  • Mistletoe is known as the kissing plant. Just so you know, it’s only a kissing plant if you can figure out a way to get someone to stand under it. The way things are these days, the wrong approach will get you slapped with a sexual-harassment complaint. You’re better off waiting for the right woman (that would be any woman) to ask you to step under the mistletoe. Then it’s all good.
  • In the lore of mistletoe all you hear are good things. Good luck, good health, and lasting friendships are just some of the benefits.
  • If you’re a single person you can use mistletoe for another more useful purpose. Draw a circle in front of a fire. Take two leaves of mistletoe giving one in your name and placing it in the circle. Name the other with your lover’s name and place it outside the circle. If your lover is to marry you, the lover’s leaf will jump inside the circle next to your leaf. Jumping leaves… Sounds a little crazy to me.
  • Some information received from a gaggle of old wives reveals that mistletoe can ward off sicknesses. For that to work the mistletoe must be cut from an oak tree with the golden hook and never allowed to touch the earth. Disasters are sure to be in your future if you let that tiny little leaf hit the ground.

  • Mistletoe was known to be gathered for some Celtic winter solstice festivals. Druids removed the mistletoe from the oak tree with the well-known golden hook and used it as a charm against the many and various evil spirits. It was also supposed to encourage fertility which is always a real plus. Right girls?
  • Austrian folklore believes that if you lay mistletoe at your bedroom door, you’ll have a sweet sleep and a beautiful dream. Match that up with encouraging fertility and you got yourself a party.
  • For all you ranchers out there, mistletoe was also known to be effective with cattle. If you give a bough of mistletoe to a cow that’s calved after New Year’s Day, you’ll prevent bad luck from attacking your entire herd. Oh yeah just so you know, “No Kissing!”
  • If by chance you strike out for the forest in November and December looking for mistletoe and can’t find any, run and hide, disaster is sure to follow. Only fresh mistletoe will retain its magical charms. Anything older than a year has passed its “Use By” date.

There you have it. Everything you always wanted to know about mistletoe but were afraid to ask. So, get off that comfortable couch, put on some warm clothing, get your ass out into the woods before all the good mistletoe is gone. You never know when a band of wandering Druids may sneak in and take all the good stuff.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

And a special thanks to Linda Spencer

11/10/2022 “History of Kissing”   Leave a comment

Since yesterday’s posting was all about people and how and when they lost their virginities, I thought today I would do a short but interesting look at the history of “kissing”. It was always among my favorite things and the older I got the higher up my list of favorite things it went.

  • I guess we should start with the Garden of Eden and Adam. Scripture says that God breathed the “spirit of life” into him and it might explain why many religious ceremonies include kissing.
  • A Canadian anthropologist demonstrated that 97% of women shut their eyes during a kiss but only 37% of men did.
  • As with many things it seems the Romans got involved with kissing early on. A husband returning from work would kiss his wife on the lips to see if she’d been drinking during the day. The Romans had three different types of kisses: abasium, the kiss on the lips; osculum, a friendly kiss on the cheek, anduavium, the full mouth and tongue. Emperor Tiberius once banned the practice of kissing after an epidemic of lip sores.
  • Kissing at one point was frowned upon because it had been used as a sign of betrayal by Judas Iscariot. He identified Jesus to his enemies in the garden of Gethsemane by kissing him.
  • Kissing under the mistletoe is an English tradition and started with the kissing bough, which had mistletoe at its center. When the Christmas tree replaced the kissing bough, the mistletoe was salvaged.
  • How and where you kiss used to be a sign of where you stood in the social pecking order. Equals kissed each other on the cheek. The lower you ranked to another person, the lower you had to kiss him. Thus, a slave would kiss his masters’ feet, and a prisoner not even allowed to do that. They were forced to kiss the ground near the foot.

  • Alice Johnson, a 23-year-old American waitress, won a car in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after kissing it for 32 hours and 20 minutes in a 1994 competition. She loosened four teeth in the process.
  • An American insurance company discovered that men were less likely to have a car accident on their way to work if they were kissed before they set off.
  • In Sicily, members of the Mafia have stopped kissing each other because the way they kiss was a dead giveaway to the police, and mobsters were getting arrested.
  • The first film kiss was in, appropriately enough, the 1896 movie The Kiss. The participants were John C. Rice and Mae Erwin.
  • My last entry will give all of you a reason to kiss a little more often. Kissing can prevent illnesses. When you absorb other people’s saliva, you also receive their enzymes, which gives you their immunities like a kind of antibiotic. Unfortunately kissing can also pass on diseases too.

“YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS; A KISS IS JUST A KISS.”

Dooley Wilson in Casablanca

12/06/2021 🌲X-mas Trivia🌲   Leave a comment

I’ve never been one to have an overabundance of Christmas spirit. I lost most of it back in 1963 when, while in college, I worked part time on a Christmas tree farm in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. After cutting, trimming, bundling, and loading close to 5000 trees onto trucks, I’d had enough. Took me three weeks to get all of the sap and pine smell off my body and out of my clothing. Every time I smell pine scent, it gives me flashbacks to that tree farm. But never let it be said that my issues with Christmas would keep me from supplying you with some holiday spirit in the form of Christmas trivia. Enjoy. . .

  • Bing Crosby’s” White Christmas” was released in 1942 and is considered to be the best-selling Christmas song of all time.
  • In Greek, X means Christ; that is where the word “Xmas” originated.
  • Christmas Clubs, savings accounts in which a person deposits a fixed amount of money regularly to be used at Christmas for shopping, came about in 1905.
  • America’s official national Christmas tree is located in Kings Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia is called the “General Grant Tree”, and is over 300 feet high. It was made the official Christmas tree by Congress in 1925.
  • An average household in America will mail out 28 Christmas cards each year.
  • California, Oregon, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina are the top Christmas tree producing states. Oregon is the leading producer of Christmas trees harvesting approximately 8.6 million a year.
  • Christmas caroling began as an old English custom cold “Wassailing” – toasting neighbors to a long and healthy life.
  • In an effort to solicit cash to pay for a charity Christmas dinner in 1891, a large “crab pot” was set down on a San Francisco street corner, becoming the first Salvation Army collection kettle.
  • During the Christmas/Hanukkah season, more than 1.7 6 billion candy canes will be made.
  • Hallmark introduced its first Christmas cards in 1915, five years after the founding of the company.
  • In Syria, Christmas gifts are distributed by one of the wise men’s camels. The gift-giving camel is said to have been the smallest one in the Wise Men’s caravan.
  • In 1907, Oklahoma became the last US state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.
  • Mistletoe, a traditional Christmas symbol, was once revered by the early Britons. It was so sacred that it had to be cut with a golden sickle.

18 More Shopping Days

MERRY CHRISTMAS

12-12-2015 Journal–Christmas Weirdness!   1 comment

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It’s easy to get on a lengthy sentimental journey of sorts during the Christmas season but with this posting I hope to avoid that.  Christmas and all of it’s incarnations worldwide are interesting and strange to say the least. Here are a host of weird and strange Christmas factoids you may not be aware of but are true nonetheless.

  • Japanese people traditionally eat at KFC for Christmas dinner, thanks to a successful marketing campaign 40 years ago. KFC is so popular that customers must place their Christmas orders 2 months in advance.
  • Paul McCartney earns $400,000 a year off his Christmas song, which is widely regarded as the worst song he ever recorded. 
  • Mistletoe kissing originated with fertility rites. The hanging sprig is a very ancient symbol of virility and therefore anybody standing beneath it is signaling that he or she is sexually available.
  • About half of Sweden’s population watches Donald Duck cartoons every Christmas Eve since 1960 .
  • Mormon missionaries can only call home twice a year: once on Mother’s Day and again on Christmas.

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Don’t you feel bad for poor old Paul McCartney. He reaped only $400,000.00 a year for a crappy song. Keep the lucky bastard in your Christmas prayers.  And KFC for Christmas in Japan? That’s as weird as it gets.

  • Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is the only record to get the UK Christmas Singles Chart Number One twice, once in 1975 and again in 1991.
  • Engineers designing the Voyager Space mission planned it to avoid planetary encounters over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • The US playing card company ‘Bicycle’ had manufactured a playing card in WW2. That, when the card was soaked, it would reveal an escape route for POWs. These cards were Christmas presents for all POWs in Germany. The Nazis were none the wiser.
  • The people of Oslo, Norway donate the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree every year in gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during WWII.
  • The Christmas Tree is a manufactured tradition. Victorian intellectuals  invented the tradition as part of a social movement to consciously reform Christmas away from its tradition of raucous drinking.

Hooray for Freddy Mercury and Queen. Their Christmas song just has to be better than McCartney’s.  The Victorians did us no favors so bring back  all that raucous drinking, please.

  • Christmas as a "day off" is a recent innovation. As late as 1850, December 25 was not a legal holiday in New England.
  • The Beatles hold the record for most Xmas number 1 singles, topping the charts in 1963, 65 and 67.
  • The highest-grossing holiday movie is 2000’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which has raked in $175m so far.
  • Hanging stockings comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas’s donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.
  • There is no reference to angels singing anywhere in the Bible.

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No angels singing in the Bible. Isn’t that just a giant kick in the ass? Personally I don’t think there was much singing at all in the Bible. People were too busy begatting and killing to have time for singing.

  • Jesus was probably born in a cave and not a wooden stable, say Biblical scholars.
  • In 1999, residents of the state of Maine in America built the world’s biggest ever snowman. He stood at 113ft tall.
  • The holly in a wreath symbolizes Christ’s crown of thorns while the red berries are drops of his blood.
  • Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from space when Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang it on December 16, 1965.
  • Astronomers believe the Star Of Bethlehem, which guided the wise men to Jesus, may have been a comet or the planet Uranus.

I’m glad to see the state of Maine making the list. Although how proud can you be about a giant snowman. Snow is about all we have to offer except for a few billion pine trees.

  • Santa Claus has different names around the world – Kriss Kringle in Germany, Le Befana in Italy, Pere Noel in France and Deushka Moroz (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.
  • In Britain, the best-selling holiday song is Band Aid’s 1984 track, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which sold 3.5 million copies. Wham! is next in the same year with Last Christmas, selling 1.4 million.
  • US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.
  • Despite the tale of three wise men paying homage to baby Jesus, the Bible never gives a number. Matthew’s Gospel refers to merely "wise men".
  • There are 13 Santa’s in Iceland, each leaving a gift for children. They come down from the mountain one by one, starting on December 12 and have names like Spoon Licker, Door Sniffer and Meat Hook.

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Another misquote from the Bible. Are you shocked? Not me.  And thanks to all of those scientists for taking the time out of their busy work day to compute those figures.  Get a life guys.

TWELVE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

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