Also known as the golden bough. Held sacred by both the Celtic Druids and the Norseman. Once called Allheal, used in folk medicine to cure many ills. North American Indians used it for toothache, measles and dog bites. Today the plant is still used medicinally, though only in skilled hands...it's a powerful plant.
It was also the plant of peace in Scandinavian antiquity. If enemies met by chance beneath it in a forest, they laid down their arms and maintained a truce until the next day.
Mistletoe was used by the Druid priesthood in a very special ceremony held around this time...five days after the New Moon following winter solstice, to be precise. The Druid priests would cut mistletoe from a holy oak tree with a golden sickle. The branches had to be caught before they touched the ground.
Celts believed this parasitic plant held the soul of the host tree. The priest then divided the branches into many sprigs and distributed them to the people, who hung them over doorways as protection against thunder, lightning and other evils. The folklore, and the magical powers of this plant, blossomed over the centuries A sprig placed in a baby's cradle would protect the child from faeries. Giving a sprig to the first cow calving after New Year would protect the entire herd. And so forth.