If you’ve followed the various mistletoe blogs over the last few years you’ll know that I really really hate plastic mistletoe.
At this year’s Mistletoe Ball I gave a short speech on the perils of plastic – if you don’t keep up the tradition of using the real stuff we risk celebrating/kissing under plastic stuff – and all the tat that comes with it. Like the Musical Mistletoe – a crowd-pleasing bunch of plastic mistletoe with a motion detector, that plays tinny Christmas tunes when you approach it. Be grateful when the battery runs down.
Or Mistletoe-branded Condoms, complete with tiny sprig of plastic mistletoe – "because you nver know what that kiss may lead to…"
Now you might think all of this stuff was limited to the cheaper end of the market – but no, it gets everywhere. On TV you regularly see plastic mistletoe being used – even on shows where they are promoting the real thing – last week’s mistletoe feature on ITV ‘This Morning’ had plastic in shot, and on the accompanying website, despite it being expressly about the real thing. And I had to tell Ainsley off for having plastic mistletoe on set when I promoted real mistletoe on ‘Ready Steady Cook’.
Ah, but that’s the media, they’re allowed to be a bit tacky aren’t they. So what about the National Trust then, those guardians of Britain’s traditions? Surely they wouldn’t have plastic mistletoe?
Yes they do – as the main feature of one of their Christmas Cards for 2007 – despite describing it as "The modern tradition of kissing under the mistletoe may be more to do with 18th century fashions rather than earlier folklore associated with mistletoe. A very British thing, it is hardly practised anywhere, other than in Englishspeaking countries. " No mention of the fact that the pic is of Plastic Mistletoe, probably Made in China, and modelled on American Mistletoe.
What sort of ‘very British thing’ is that??? Get a grip, National Trust.