Traditional Christmas Kissing Balls

An invitation to be kissed!  The Kissing ball comes from the Middle Ages when people would wind evergreens together in a ball shape.  In the centre they would place a figure to represent the baby Jesus.  Hung along passage ways to render good luck and blessings to all who passed under.

In Victorian the tradition was updated.  With foliage poked into an apple or even a potato creating a circular design.  Using herbs with romantic notations it soon become a romantic gesture to kiss under this ball of fragrance.

During the 20th century this tradition seemed to fade.  However, with the availability of mistletoe (even from the greengrocer), the kissing ball is being reinvented.

On our recent Seasonal Flowers course we made kissing balls from moss and foliage and decorated with evergreen foliage and mistletoe - perfect for the Christmas season!

Kisses under the Mistletoe

What is the story behind kissing under the mistletoe?

Mistletoe is a plant that grows on trees, high up in the branches - particularly apple trees.  It is a plant of peace - if enemies meet by chance underneath it they have to lay down their arms and maintain a truce until the next day!

This is thought to be the origin of mistletoe as we know it today.  Hanging a ball of mistletoe from the ceiling and exchanging kisses is a sign of friendship and goodwill.

However, watch out, if a couple exchange a kiss under the mistletoe it is a promise to marry - so be careful who catches you under this magical berried plant this year!

November 24, 2016 by Sarah Wright