If you google search the meaning of mistletoe you will find tales that go from romantic to practical when it comes to this prickly greenery. Every Christmas season I think of mistletoe as a gift of love and bravery. When my mind wanders back to those days I was a single mother with five children, the struggle always seems real again. Yet, there were so many touching things I can remember that still bring tears to my eyes today.
The Christmas season tends to be the coldest outside when it comes to weather so our warmth has to come from our hearts if we want to feel it. Mistletoe represents the warmth I remember when I think back on Christmas past. My oldest son was only maybe 12 or 13 when he started the tradition of gathering mistletoe together, wrapping sprigs with ribbon, and selling the bundles outside the front of the local supermarket. He would put on double layers of clothing and go off with a huge grocery bag full of mistletoe bundles offering them to those who went in and out of the store in exchange for a dollar. (Very enterprising young man)!
My mind can’t help but wander back to the Christmas season we had so little in our kitchen. I had no idea what to do or who to turn to as I gazed inside the refrigerator over and over hoping somehow something would pop up in there that I missed. I had one child in diapers and the others running around playing inside the house. They never really said too much when it came to when we were going to eat. It’s like they knew all would be alright.
Just when I felt like giving up hope, my oldest son popped in the door with a large hot pizza he bought for us with his mistletoe money. I close my eyes and I can see the joy on his face as the others grabbed a piece of pizza. Tears are filling my eyes because he is in heaven now, but his heart and warmth will always be remembered during every Christmas season. Of course, I can’t help but also thank the mistletoe for being a symbol of love that Christmas season and every one of them afterward.
You see, it doesn’t take much to fill a stomach and a heart, but when the heart is touched and filled it will never forget. I know mine won’t forget the selfless act of love my son gifted to us through the symbol of Christmas love; the mistletoe. I hope his bundles brought a lot of kisses to those who purchased them. They had no idea the work of God they rendered to us as a family that season and through every memory from then on.
Sometimes mistletoe is for more than kissing. Sometimes mistletoe is for selfless acts of love that warm the heart during cold winter seasons we are blessed to somehow overcome. The light of God shines on my memories, upon the mistletoe, and even upon warm delicious pizza.
Have a beautiful holiday season!
Loving you from here,
Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry
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