Grandma under the mistletoe!

   

…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

 

4 people like this post.

15 thoughts on “Grandma under the mistletoe!”

  1. StephLoveStephLove

    We’ve had real mistletoe once or twice. You can usually get it at the florist on Laurel Ave in Takoma Park, though last year or the year before the didn’t have it because of a pest-related shortage. I haven’t checked this year.

  2. coleencoleen

    Explosive kissing! That is just awesome.
    Happy Holidays! 🙂

  3. Bill BlissBill Bliss

    19th century folks couldn’t have been that prudish. The greatest generation got here somehow, only to bring into being all us lovable boomers. Nice cartoon, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t that ancient looking when the mistletoe was working its wonders on them.

    When I was 11 or so, I tried to make $$ selling the mistletoe which grew naturally on my parent’s property in the mountains. I did not become independently wealthy. Heck, I could have made more money selling rutabagas , but it was good character building (and it was legal).

  4. Kassandra LambKassandra Lamb

    LOL Great post, Kathy. I’ve only seen real mistletoe once or twice. Like you I worry about pets and children eating the berries (when that explosive kissing knocks them off the branches!)

  5. PhilPhil

    The image of grandma under the mistletoe makes me shudder!

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