Friday, December 3, 2010

Under the Mistletoe - Postcard Friendship Friday #40

This wonderful old postcard comes from Jann.  She has the most marvelous and extensive collection of old postcards and other vintage ephemera.  Please drop by for a visit at Banquet of Tulle Roses.

As you can see, this is a postcard which celebrates mistletoe.  Here in the Pacific Northwest one can find large balls of mistletoe adorning the tops of the bare oak trees.  I can remember my sister and I snagging a mistletoe ball which had grown several feet wide.  It hung outside our parent's house for years.

Kissing under the mistletoe was first practiced by the Greeks during the festival of Saturnalia.  In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce, or warring spouses could kiss and make up!

In England, around 1800, there was a charming tradition of the mistletoe kissing ball.   At Christmas time an unmarried young lady standing Under the Mistletoe ball could not refuse to be kissed. (Woohoo!)  Such a kiss could mean deep romance or lasting friendship and goodwill.  If the girl remained unkissed, the story goes--she would remain unmarried for a year's time.  In some parts of England the Christmas mistletoe was burned on the twelfth night, lest all the boys and girls who kissed Under the Mistletoe never marry!  

In France, the tradition of kissing Under the Mistletoe was reserved for New Year's Day.  It was called  "Au gui l'An neuf" (Mistletoe for the New Year). 


The custom of exchanging a kiss under mistletoe is still practiced across the world.  Indeed, it has been said if a couple in love exchanges a kiss under the mistletoe, they will marry and live long and happy lives. 

Joyfully--today, kisses can be exchanged under the mistletoe by any one at any time during the holiday season!  I have had my own share of sweet kisses beneath the magical mistletoe.  Such a lovely tradition!    

To see more mailboxes and all things postal, visit Gemma at Greyscale Territory for Weekend Mailbox.


13 comments:

Sheila said...

Beautiful card! the Father Christmas figure looks as though he belongs at a Saturnalia, somehow, with all that mistletoe. :)

Terra said...

This postcard is gorgeous, and I enjoyed your notes about mistletoe.

Snap said...

Such a lovely card. Enjoyed the mistletoe history. Happy PFF!

pfranzme said...

Oh boy. I want that postcard for my personal collection of Santa Claus postcards. Know where I can find one? TY for sharing it.

MrCachet said...

A Mistletoe history lesson - and a beautiful card to go with it!

Joy said...

What beautiful detail in the card, the more one looks the more appears. I thought it was the Green Man until I saw the other comments, now I am not so sure. He would go with the mistletoe and is pagan (although often appears as carvings in churches), but Santa would like whispers of present requests, love those wings. Whatever the artist intended it is a gem of a card.

Bob of Holland said...

A beautiful and fascinating card. In France, the druids in pagan times used mistletoe for a secret potion that made his gallic compatriots invincible for the Romans (I learned this from the Asterix comic books, which I loved as a boy). Happy PFF.

Funoldhag said...

I love this card - the colors are beautiful. Wonder what the little girl is whispering in the ear of that wonderful Santa figure? A delight, Beth!

www.dakotaboo.com said...

Great Christmas card. I'm afraid I've run out of time and cheated a little by posting one of my vintage postcard advent calendar entries today, rather than something specifically for this forum. I think it fits the spirit though. Happy PFF.

Dorincard said...

And I thought happiness should be the result of passion (at least in the beginning :)), compromises and endeavors, NOT geopositioning yourself under a hemi-parasitic plant. :)
Great card!

Postcardy said...

I never knew before that mistletoe grows in balls or in trees.

That's a pretty card. Santa(?) is definitely under the mistletoe and the little girl is really little angel!

~JANN ~ said...

Awwwwwwwww thank you sweetie for mentioning my blog. So appreciated.
Glad my card made such a hit, I've had that card for afew years. Glad you could use it. Such interesting post on mistletoe, it grows alot around here. Did you know the berries are poisonous ???
Sending you warm holidays hugsssss

Rowena said...

Very Beautiful card what beautiful detail Good work :)