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.