Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Season—Mistletoe, Hunky Santas, and Santa School

Thanksgiving is over. Now the rest of the holiday season is here. I was going to say, "What's happened to this year? Where has it gone?" But I think I'll save that, might use it in my New Year's blog.  :)

It's hard to believe that Christmas is only a little over a week away.  And, while Christmas seems to get most of the publicity with shopping ads, Mall decorations, movies, and Christmas episodes of television shows, it is certainly not the only holiday of the winter season.

In addition to Christmas, we have the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the Muslim Eid holiday marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the week long African American heritage celebration of Kwanzaa, winter solstice and Yule.

Mistletoe Trivia:
Why do people kiss under the mistletoe?  After all, mistletoe is a parasitic plant you find in the forest attached to and gaining its sustenance from its host tree.  The entire plant is poisonous, especially the berries which are extremely toxic.  Ingesting the berries causes acute stomach and intestinal pains, diarrhea, weak pulse, mental disturbances, and the collapse of blood vessels.  Death has occurred within ten hours after eating the berries.  Not exactly what first comes to mind when you think of kissing.  :)

The tradition of linking mistletoe and kissing started in Europe.  According to Norse mythology, Baldur, the god of peace, was shot and killed by an arrow made of mistletoe.  After the other gods brought him back to life, Frigga, the goddess of love, transformed mistletoe into a symbol of love and peace.  And to this day, everyone who passes under the mistletoe must receive a kiss.

Hunky Santa Show:
And there's the Hunky Santa Show held each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through the Christmas season.  Just where is this event featuring your anything-but-typical Santa?  Where else but Southern California, at Los Angeles' Beverly Center.  Instead of a round tummy and big beard, these guys have buffed bodies with 6-pack abs and are probably more receptive to champagne than cookies and milk.  The above Santa is an excellent example of a candidate for Hunky Santa (in my humble opinion).  :)  

Santa School:
What about the place where Santas go to learn how to properly Ho Ho Ho?  The Santa Claus School is located in Midland, Michigan.  The non-profit school has been in operation for 76 years and turns out both Santas and Mrs. Clauses from around the globe.

So, the next time you see a Mall Santa, remember that he's most likely not merely some guy who stuck on a false beard and climbed into a red suit on a whim.

Be sure to check back here next Sunday, December 22, for the Legend of St. Nicholas.


Ashantay said...

I enjoyed the mistletoe legend and now have another item for my bucket list. No, it's not learning how to be Mrs Claus -

Happy Holidays (and Winter Solstice) to you and yours!

Samantha Gentry said...

Hi, Ashantay. I hope that bucket list item isn't nibbling the mistletoe berries to see if they are really deadly. :)

Wishing you and your family a joyous holiday season.

Thanks for your comment.

RE Mullins said...

Okay. I meant to read the blog. I really did but found myself staring at the Santa instead...

Samantha Gentry said...

RE: He does give a whole new meaning to being naughty or nice. :)

Thanks for your comment.