Mistletoe has long been a symbol of life long before Jesus was born. It was a mysterious plant that seemed to grow out of nothing on the top of trees during the darkest days when nothing else seemed to grow. (Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on host plants.) This green plant with berries symbolized life to the viewers and the power of God in the darkest times. The plant also gave people hope that life would go on and spring would return. Because this plant seemed to grow out of nothing people believed it had powers to heal and ward off evil or sickness. That is how Mistletoe came to be hung in homes.
Christians ceased to hang Mistletoe as a magic charm but continued to keep the symbol to remind them of the power of God to bring life because of Jesus and his love. From this notion of love came the tradition of kissing. But the kissing is not just a romantic kiss, but a reminder of God’s great desire for relationship. Mistletoe has consistently represented, life, hope, peace and love – all the things we remember at Christmas.
With Children: Hang tag #22 with Mistletoe. Look at some pictures of mistletoe and take about how it lives on other plants. That is how we grow best too when we are in good times and hard times if we live on the friendship with Jesus.
With Teens: Explore more of the history of Mistletoe. What did you learn and how does that help you think about Jesus?