Mistletoe, a parasitic plant that thrives off the healthy plants it attaches itself to, is a plant that has been associated with Christmas for hundreds of years. The plant was used by many ancient cultures as a healing remedy used to cure ailments such as cramps, epilepsy, and ulcers.

The romantic nature of this plant was first seen with the Celtic Druids who believed the plant, which could thrive during the harsh winter months, could also help restore fertility among women and animals. It became a symbol of vivacity and fertility.

Norse mythology also played a part in the romance of mistletoe. Baldur, son of the goddess of love Frigg, was killed by mistletoe. When the other gods were able to revive him, Frigg declared mistletoe to be the symbol of love, promising to kiss all who pass beneath it.

In the Middle Ages and into the 18th century, mistletoe had become wildly popular as part of Christmas festivities. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is said to have started with servants in England. The men were allowed to steal a kiss from any woman standing underneath the mistletoe; to refuse the kiss was bad luck. In a different tradition, a person picks the berries from the mistletoe for each a kiss he or she received, once all the berries are gone, so are the kisses.

The MISTLETOE SUPPORTING HEADBAND, U.S. Patent No. 4,488,316, retains the tradition of kissing but adds a little twist to it. According to the application, the headband “will be worn on the head of the users, to display a piece of mistletoe above the forehead of its users, so as to entice a person or persons to kiss the wearer, as is an old Christmas custom.” The design of the headband allows the wearer to use real or fake mistletoe and seek out a person to kiss as opposed to traditional mistletoe which is typically placed in entryways and doorways.

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