That First Kiss ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 346

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!

mistletoe 2

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 …..

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

4 thoughts on “That First Kiss ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 346”

  1. The first time? Why, I am so shy, I could hardly remember the first time, but it must’ve been recently. I was standoffish at first, and certainly never staged the mistletoe intentionally at any time during my first three or four years. After that, I must’ve acquired some skill at it enough to be considered troublesome. But skill or no skill, the mistletoe proved of little use unless the object of intent would be willing to come into range under it. Shoving and pushing just to accomplish the juxtaposition was considered rude. Some appeared more interested in it than others. In time I discovered that neither pending holidays nor the surrounding vegetation in the room would seem to have had little or nothing to do with it whatsoever. But painted light bulbs and record players, regardless of the time of year, always seemed to help.

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