Volunteers Under the Mistletoe

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(photo by digidreamgrafix, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Robert Barossi

The holiday season is without doubt one of my favorite times of year. Whether it’s holiday songs playing on my car’s stereo while navigating snowy streets or houses covered in Christmas lights that fill my neighborhood, I’m a sucker for pretty much anything related to the holiday season. Kissing under the mistletoe is, of course, just one long-standing tradition of the season and this story from San Diego focuses on that famous plant and the legend and lore that surrounds it. It’s also got one of the best titles I’ve seen for a volunteer-related story, “Mistletoe: A Parasite of Peace.” While the article offers lots of information to explain that attention-catching title, it also focuses on a group of volunteers, the Canyoneers. This group of dedicated and passionate volunteers work with the San Diego Natural History Museum and lead area hikes and, every year, sell mistletoe to raise money for their nature programs. Gathering and selling the plant is a holiday season tradition for these volunteers, one that helps them fund some of the great work they do all year round.

More information here on San Diego’s Natural History Museum

Just for fun, a couple of resources I found about the lore and legend of mistletoe, form The Farmer’s Almanac, Smithsonian Magazine and The History Channel

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