December is in full swing, and it's time to throw on classic Christmas albums (Elizabeth's favorite is this one by Miss Barbara Streisand; Maggie is partial to A Christmas Gift For You from Phil Spector) and use our flower of the week to smooch someone you have a crush on.
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Mistletoe, or Phoradendrum Seritonum, has been a symbol of love and fertility for thousands of years, having once been used in Druid ceremonies and then evolving into "kissing balls" in 18th century England - under the mistletoe kissing ball, it was bad luck for a lady to refuse a gentleman's kiss.* While we don't advocate forcing your object of affection to kiss you under the threat of a years' worth of bad luck, hanging mistletoe in doorways is a long-standing tradition. Tack sprigs of it outside your front door on New Years' Eve to welcome the new year and guard against evil spirits like the Celts, or hang it above a newborn baby's crib to prevent fairies from snatching him and putting a changeling in his place - new holiday mamas take note!
*from The Secret Language of Flowers, by Samantha Gray