The sap of the myrrh tree (Commiphora myrrha) dries into hard, reddish brown lumps of gum resin known as myrrh. Although unfamiliar to us today in ancient times myrrh was a precious and much sought-after substance. The MAGI, or Wise Men from the East, brought the baby JESUS a GIFT of myrrh.


Mumming is a form of folk entertainment in which bands of masked and costumed merrymakers roam the streets singing, dancing, acting out stories, or simply engaging in horseplay. In past centuries people throughout EUROPE celebrated the CHRISTMAS SEASON by mumming or by hosting bands of mummers in their homes.

Mummers Parade

For more than one hundred years, the people of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have lined the streets on New Year’s Day to watch the Mummers Parade. Marching string bands, fancy and funny floats, and thousands of extravagantly costumed mummers dazzle onlookers brave enough to risk the winter weather.


The parasitic plant known as Viscum album to botanists has attached itself in a mysterious way to the celebration of Christmas. More commonly known as mistletoe, this plant frequently makes its home on the branches of apple trees, but may also be found on poplars, hawthorns, limes, maples, and even, occasionally on oak trees.

Misa de Gallo

Misa de gallo (pronounced MEE-sah day GAH-yoh) means “roost-er’s mass” in Spanish. Both the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking peoples of the world refer to MIDNIGHT MASS on Christmas Eve as the rooster’s mass. The Portuguese term for “rooster’s mass,” missa do galo, closely resembles its Spanish cousin.

Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) has become one of America’s best-loved Christmas movies. Based on a book of the same name, it tells the story of Susan Walker (a little girl who doesn’t believe in SANTA CLAUS), her mother Doris Walker (an independent career woman), neighbor Fred Gailey (a lawyer who has fallen in love with Doris), and an elderly gentleman who calls himself Kris Kringle.

Mincemeat Pie (Christmas Pie)

The name “mincemeat” may puzzle many of those who have come across a meatless recipe for this dish in their cookbooks. Mincemeat pie is an old English Christmas favorite.

Midnight Mass

The Roman Catholic Church honors Christmas with three separate masses, each with its own distinctive liturgy. The first of these masses takes place in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and is called Midnight Mass.
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