December 2, 1964
Jocie Brooke reporting from Hollyhill. It’s December. That means Christmas isn’t too far away. I love Christmas. I love getting gifts. I like giving gifts, but that giving is harder than the getting. That’s because I don’t have any money or at least not enough to buy something for Dad and Tabitha and Aunt Love. Wes and Leigh. Miss Sally and… Well, you get the idea. Lots of people I want to give presents and limited, as in very limited, funds.
Aunt Love says I should just make something, but what can I make? I don’t knit. I don’t sew. I could write them a story, but that would be sort of lame. Dad says not to worry about presents for him. He has everything he needs and us just being together at Christmas is good enough. But I noticed he went shopping for Leigh.
Last Christmas when they were just beginning to think about dating, Dad bought Leigh a big chocolate candy bar. I’m talking the super-size ones. Sigh. Isn’t that romantic? I might even think about falling in love for a super-size chocolate bar. On second thought, there are some things that can’t be bought with chocolate. Of course, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t break off a few squares to taste. Ha. Ha.
But back to finding a way to finance those gifts. I kept thinking and thinking and mistletoe popped into my mind. That’s not as strange as it sounds. It is only a few weeks until Christmas and people need stuff to decorate with. Bingo! There’s where mistletoe comes in. Lovely mistletoe.
Did you know that the name, mistletoe, comes from bird poop on a branch? That’s not the image I bring to mind when I say mistletoe. But that’s how the stuff gets planted on tree branches. Birds eat the mistletoe berries and then poop them out on the branch. You see mistletoe doesn’t grow in the dirt on the ground. It has roots that stick down into the tree branches. It’s a parasite plant. Parasites and bird poop – not exactly romantic, but that’s not what I think about when I see mistletoe. I think Christmas. And kisses. I’ve never been kissed under the mistletoe except by Dad, and that doesn’t really count.
But mistletoe could be my answer. No, not for kisses. Eeww! Keep that stuff away from the school! No boys there that I’d want to get caught with under the mistletoe. No sir. Now Zella, she might be thinking differently with the way she’s moping over Mr. Whitlow. Zella will probably hang some mistletoe right over her desk. Or tuck a spring into the curls on top of her head.
Anyway, I climbed this tree out on Miss Sally’s farm and pulled down a big clump of mistletoe. Then I broke it into little pieces and tied red ribbons around it. Took forever, but it did look good. When I showed it to Wes, he said the mistletoe looked like kisses waiting to happen. Then he shoved a dollar into my hand and made me promise that none of that stuff got hung up anywhere around him. He says he left all the girls he wants to kiss up on Jupiter.
Have you ever been kissed under mistletoe? Was it somebody you wanted to kiss?