There are many Christmas traditions that will get one in a holiday mood. Decorating a Christmas tree, candy canes, consumer credit debt, and of course, mistletoe.
1. Species of mistletoe grow on trees the world over. However, it’s not living in perfect harmony with the tree. In fact, it’s eating it. Mistletoe is a hanging parasitic plant — its root penetrates the host tree, drains it of its lifeblood, and eventually overtakes it. Just like in Alien.
2. Etymologically, the word mistletoe comes from the German “mist” meaning “dung” and “tang” meaning “bough.” So, in essence, mistletoe means “branch of shit.” This is because mistletoe is spread by bird poop. The human equivalent would be having a florist shop grow out of one’s toilet.
3. Kissing under mistletoe remains a popular means by which one may inflict one’s lips on a co-worker at the office Christmas party. In this regard, some consider mistletoe to be a yuletide Spanish fly or a vegetal Viagra. Be assured, it’s far from an aphrodisiac. Mistletoe could be construed as a date rape drug. Its berries are chock-full of viscotoxins which lower your heart rate and can cause you to pass out, leaving you prey to the unwanted sexual advances of drunk guys in Santa hats.
4. Another one of the dangers of mistletoe is the misconception that smoking it will get you high. This theory was developed by people who are already high. Do not smoke mistletoe. That feeling of euphoria you may experience after a mistletoke is your soul leaving your body.
5. It’s for the above reasons that mistletoe is best kept out of reach. This is why it is hung high under the doorways until the government sends dudes in hazmat suits to get rid of it. Or for that matter, get rid of the guy in the Santa hat when he hangs mistletoe from his belt buckle.