I got my berried holly and mistletoe today so even though we’ve no tree or decorations or anything that looks remotely Christmassy, I can happily say ‘Oh yes! to the perennial pre-Christmas question: ‘Are you all set?’
The holly has to have berries and it has to be in a big bunch. No centre-pieces or wreaths for me, thanks. I will spend glorious time tomorrow decorating every picture in the house with a sprig of holly and think of all the years that Mother and I shared precious hours chatting about Christmases in her youth in Co. Meath.
The mistletoe is different! It brings me to my youth and all those days and nights wondering when it would happen ….. my first kiss. I was the youngest in the class in school so everyone else seemed to be streets ahead in the kissing stakes. I blush still when I think of the annual retreats and priests, of all people, telling us in graphic detail about the dangers of kissing, especially French kissing!
I held high hopes that mistletoe would resolve everything and went to great lengths to place it very strategically in those places where I felt it was most likely to have the desired effect.
There was a ‘gathering’ in our house around Christmas when I was twelve ( or was it thirteen?) ~ a gang of cousins and our friends. The record player in full blast and the lights low or rather lowered by the deep red paint that we’d plastered onto the bulbs.
Somewhere between Neil Diamond and Jimi Hendrix, it happened. He was a year or two older than me and we went from chatting to him holding my hand and then our lips meeting for a brief moment.
Oh, I remember his name but I strongly suspect he’s forgotten mine. For ages and ages after that life-changing experience, I kept saying to myself: And there was no mistletoe in the room so it really is ‘ MY FIRST KISS.’
I wonder how many first kisses are bound up with Christmas-time?
Just imagine if he was out today buying mistletoe and remembering …..