…and you thought folks were prudish in the 19th century. Ah, the magic of mistletoe. For the young, and the young at heart. Go, Grandma!

The Corvallis Gazette (Corvallis, OR), Dec 24, 1897. Chronicling America, Library of Congress.

The Corvallis Gazette (Corvallis, OR), Dec 24, 1897. Chronicling America, Library of Congress.

 

Careful who you kiss under the mistletoe, however:

Anaconda Standard (Montana), 24 Feb 1895. Image via Chronicling America, Library of Congress.

Anaconda Standard (Montana), 24 Feb 1895. Image via Chronicling America, Library of Congress.

 

Was he letting people kiss his wife so he’d have an excuse to kiss the girl? Hmm.

Mistletoe was a sought-after item at Christmas-time in the 19th century, and holiday revelers placed “kissing boughs” in strategic places (though never in a church, as the custom originated among the ancient Druids, and sometimes involved human sacrifice). There is a difference between English and American mistletoe, and apparently back then clients in the northeastern U.S. were very picky, preferring the English variety. Perhaps some “explosive kissing” was anticipated? See below:

The Evening Star (Wash, DC), 24 Dec 1889. Image via Chronicling America, Library of Congress (highlighting mine).

The Evening Star (Wash, DC), 24 Dec 1889. Image via Chronicling America, Library of Congress (highlighting mine).

Those folks really knew how to revel, didn’t they? How does one “use up” mistletoe? …never mind.

Do you decorate with real mistletoe? (We have an artificial mistletoe ball in our house – the berries are poisonous. A sick cat is hardly romantic). For that matter, has anyone even seen real mistletoe recently, or has it gone the way of the Druids?

I won’t ask y’all about any plans for “explosive kissing” (*wink*), but I’d love to hear what else you’re up to! And I’m still giving away ebooks to commenters (up to ten copies in total, and good until Christmas), so if you want a free copy of any book in my series, let me know which book and whether you prefer epub (Nook, iPad) or mobi (Kindle), and I’ll send it off to you.

Concordia series 1to4

No matter what you are celebrating this season, I wish you the brightest of holidays!

Until next time,

Kathy

 

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