The modern day holiday Christmas, such as decorating the tree, hanging mistletoe and holly and burning the Yule log, are all beautiful pagan customs that date back pre-Christian times when the Witches' Sabbat Yule (which takes place on the Winter Solstice just days before Christmas) originally commemorated the rebirth of the Sun God.
Another favorite Christmas tradition rich in Pagan symbolism is the hanging of the mistletoe in the doorways. Mistletoe was considered very magickal by the ancient Druids who called it the "Golden Bough." They believed that it possessed great healing powers and gave men access to the underworld. The living plant, which is actually a parasite, whose sacred tree is the oak. The life giving essence which the mistletoe suggest provides a symbolic divine substance and a sense of immortality to those who hang it at Yuletide.
Even jolly old Kris Kringle (Santa Claus) was at one time the Pagan god of Yule. He was known as "Christ on the Wheel," an ancient Norse title for the Sun God who was reborn at the Winter Solstice.
Placing cakes in the boughs of the oldest apple trees in the orchard and pouring on cider as a liberation was an old Pagan Yuletide custom practiced in England and known as "Wassailing the Orchard Tress." After offering a toast to the health of the apple trees and giving thanks to them for producing fruit, the farmers would then enjoin the trees to continue producing abundantly.
Taken from Wicca and Candle Magick by Gerina Dunwich page 118 119 - A Citadel Press Book Published by Carol Publishing Group.