The Kissing Bough

Kissing boughby Mary Jo

If you've read many Christmas Regency romances, I'm sure you've encountered the kissing bough.  Christmas trees didn't become common in Britain until the Victorian age, and were brought into fashion by the Royal Family's German connections. 

But the kissing bough has deep roots in British history and is part of the tradition of bringing evergreens into the house at the holiday season.  It's essentially a globe of greens with a bunch of mistletoe fastened to the bottom. Traditionally one white mistletoe berry was removed each time there was a kiss.  I presume that festive householders would refresh the berries as necessary!  The image at the right is from the North Pole site, with instructions on how to make your own kissing bough.  

Over time, kissing boughs became more elaborate, with ribbons and candles and fruit.  I thought it would be fun to go to YouTube and find a couple of videos of people making kissing boughs.  This first is from English Heritage and goes behind the scenes of Kenilworth Castle to see how a Tudor kissing bough is made.  (It helps if you can wander into your knot garden and cut off some rose hips. <G>)

Read more