Christmas is a MAGICAL time when everyone is happy and kind to each other and it’s obviously the best time of the year to fall in love.
So, you can imagine our heartbreak when we found out that mistletoe is, well, actually a parasitic ball of life that SUCKS the nutrients and life out of trees. Ugh.
As it turns out, the semi-parasitic plants attach themselves to trees and feed on all the good stuff inside of them.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, they can even grow up to 50 pounds and quickly kill the tree they’re infecting.
To make this story even more tragic, the beautiful berries we use as symbol of joy and merriment are actually POISONOUS to humans and many animals. So why are we kissing whenever we pass under it?
There’s a Nordic Myth in which the goddess of love has a dying son. She tries to stop his death by begging every plant and animal to not harm him, but forgets to ask mistletoe.
The demon plant ends up killing her son, and for some reason, this prompts her to declare it a symbol of love.
After that, she promises to kiss anyone who passes underneath it.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Brits jumped all over this and made it a tradition at Christmas parties.
Thanks for confusing us, Brits. The meaning of mistletoe just changed FOREVER.