These past few weeks, everytime we stopped at Wegmans I was oohing and ahhing over the Christmas kissing balls they had on display outside.
Kissing balls have a long history. They were first made in the Middle Ages out of twine and evergreen. A clay baby Jesus was placed inside and hung to bring blessings and good luck to those who walked under it.
During the reformation, kissing balls were frowned upon, as all Christmas decorations were. Then they made a comeback during the Victorian Age. A potato or apple was used as a base. Mistletoe was also added. (Did you know mistletoe is poisonous?) Thanks to the Scandinavian tradition of kissing under mistletoe, the popular Victorian kissing balls provided an opportunity for unmarried ladies and gentlement to smooch.
Kissing balls became less popular again in the 20th century, leaving just mistletoe to carry on the tradition.
I think kissing balls are making a comeback! How could they not? They are round and cute! I was so excited when Aaron came home from Wegmans with one for our house.
Martha Stewart has a how-to for hand making a kissing ball. Maybe next year!