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humor: dec 14 -- Mistletoe
Nick's G-Rated Humor List
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Why do people kiss under the mistletoe?
The custom of kissing under the mistletoe originates in
Norse mythology. According to the Scandinavians, the
handsome and gracious god Balder had a premonition about
his murder. To prevent the death, Frigg, his mother, made
every living thing promise not to kill her son. Her only
omission was the insignificant mistletoe.
Loki, the evil god, discovered Frigg's oversight, and
sought to exploit it. Appearing as an uninvited guest at
a banquet in Valhalla, Loki watched as the other gods shot
arrows at Balder for fun, marveling at how none of the
arrows pierced the seemingly invulnerable god. Loki,
always seeking to harm, also shot an arrow at Balder,
but his arrow was made of mistletoe, so it killed him.
Though clearly innocent by modern standards, the other gods
were angry at the mistletoe for killing their favorite god.
As retribution, they allowed Frigg to do what she wanted to
the plant. Rather than hurt it, Frigg, the goddess of love,
decided to make the mistletoe a symbol of affection, asking
that anyone standing under it be given a kiss of love and
(Source: THE STRAIGHT DOPE column by Cecil Adams)
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