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Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Friday, 14 December 2018

The ABC's of Christmas - U

ABC's of Christmas ~ "U"

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar every month. ~ Harlan Miller

Welcome back to the ABC's of Christmas. Today we're doing the letter....

is for...
Under the Mistletoe, under the Christmas Tree, and It Came Upon The Midnight Clear.

Mistletoe was a plant of peace in antiquity. If enemies met by chance beneath it in a forest, they laid down their arms and maintained a truce until the next day. This is thought to be the origin of the ancient custom of hanging a ball of mistletoe from the ceiling and exchanging kisses under it as a sign of friendship and goodwill. 

According to the Anglo-Saxons, kissing under the mistletoe was connected to the legend of Freya, goddess of love, beauty and fertility. According to legend, a man had to kiss any young girl who, without realizing it, found herself accidentally under a sprig of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling. 

courtesy of the Internet

If a couple in love exchanges a kiss under the mistletoe, it is interpreted as a promise to marry, as well as a prediction of happiness and long life. In France, the custom linked to mistletoe was reserved for New Year's Day: "Au gui l'An neuf" (Mistletoe for the New Year).

The custom for a beautifully decorated fir tree encircled by piles of presents was introduced by Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, who had both experienced the tradition as children. 
Source Internet

The origins are thought to date back to the legend of Thor, when St. Boniface cut down the sacred tree of the god, in the German town of Geismar, and replaced it with a fir tree. This practice was repeated each year and the custom evolved as part of the Christmas traditions, beginning with a tree in each town decorated with garlands and later candles, to the popular practice of today bringing a fir tree indoors and adorning it with baubles and twinkling lights. The tree is now a focus of Christmas morning as children excitedly discover what Father Christmas has delivered. {
Excerpt from "An English Christmas"} 

Underneath my tree you will find a collection of dolls and teddy bears as well as a rocking horse or two which wait patiently before the gifts are placed underneath its branches. 

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear is a Christmas carol that was written by Edmund Sears, a preacher in Wayland, Massachusetts, in 1849. The melody was composed by Richard S. Willis also in 1849. A beautiful carol that we still enjoy today at Christmastime.

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heaven's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Please join me tomorrow for the letter V.

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi


  1. I love hearing the story of the mistletoe. I never knew the origin of the custom, but have been surprised by a few little kisses through the year when standing under the mistletoe by mistake (well, maybe not by mistake! LOL). I love that you have dolls and other toys under the tree before the gifts are put there. We do not put our gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve, and as a child we always had a train village under the tree. I need to put something under our looks kind of bare. It Came UPON a Midnight Clear... I love that song. "Peace on the earth, good will to men... from heaven's all gracious King" ...We are in need of that peace on earth and good will to men in our world today. Praying it will come...

  2. My, the days have flown by. I see that I've missed a few of the letters in your ABC's countdown. I must go back and catch up.

    What a lovely post again. You always share some interesting tidbits of information.

    It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is also favourite in my books. I always feel the blessing when I sing those old and beautiful words.

    Wishing you a pleasant evening,
    Brenda xox

  3. I'm embarrassed to admit that I like Justin Bieber's Christmas song, "Mistletoe"!


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