A Kiss Under The Mistletoe

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 15 - A Kiss Under The Mistletoe - Doodlewash

When I was a young boy, there was nothing more awkward than finding myself accidentally standing under the mistletoe. Here’s a quick little sketch of some in answer to today’s prompt. The tradition, dating back to Norse mythology, and far later adopted into 18th century Christmas traditions, involves stealing a kiss from someone caught standing underneath it. While fine for people who understand love, when you’re just a young kid, it can become an embarrassing situation. In some versions of the tradition, each time a kiss was stolen, people were supposed to steal one of the berries as well. Once all the berries were gone, the plant no longer held the magical power to grant kisses. These days, many people don’t really distinguish between the white-berried mistletoe and red-berried holly and it’s more likely of the artificial variety, so plucking off berries isn’t really an option. But on the bright side, unlike when you’re a child, a chance for a smooch as an adult is more often considered a lovely thing indeed.

We don’t really hang mistletoe this time of year in our house, though being somewhat more adult now, I do rather like the concept. One hopes, though, that when you actually live with your true love, the kisses would come naturally as part of the equation. But there is something about this season that simply glistens with love and affection and I think that’s why I love it most. Each moment is just a bit more sparkly and important than the moments that came before. Sure, they’re more likely to be lit by twinkling lights, but even still, Santa isn’t the only with a twinkle in his eyes this time of year. That said, the act of waiting until next weekend until we can open presents is making me perfectly crazy. Each day, something new arrives on the doorstep and Philippe and I rush to see if it’s something he ordered or if it’s something I ordered. In this way, we do get a brief glimpse of our gifts in rather bad packaging, but it’s still a wonderful surprise when they get dressed in their appropriate wrapping.

Most of the packages are stupidly small, because they cost nearly nothing at all. We just like to have lots of things to open on Christmas Eve to make the evening feel like a true event. It’s a wonderfully staged production of fabulous food and surprises that I live for each and every year. And best of all, the waiting makes each day a bit slower. Life seems to pause a bit and things slow down. Though my inner child is nearly screaming with excitement, my adult self is enjoying the slow moments that proceed the big night. And each twinkle of light sends a message, like a magical Morse code, typing out a tapestry of inaudible words. If I pause long enough to view them properly they always seem to spell out HOPE. A thrill in the air that makes every problem feel like it’s melting away and, in the end, doesn’t really matter that much at all. And though it might just be a trick of the light, I have to believe that it’s something truly special. Like getting a kiss under the mistletoe.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 15 - A Kiss Under The Mistletoe - Doodlewash

 

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
33 Comments
  1. Pamela Smith 6 months ago

    Hope is the thing that is really special..great story Charlie and lovely mistletoe..

  2. Sharon Nolfi 6 months ago

    Kisses are great wherever they occur! I love your excitement leading up to Christmas – it’s catching.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… Yay! This is truly my favorite time of year!

  3. Susan Cuss 6 months ago

    Wonderful mistletoe! And the excitement in your story makes me remember how I felt as a child-the wishing and hoping leading up to the big day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks, Susan! 😃💕 yeah, I never stopped feeling that way! hehe

  4. Sandra Strait 6 months ago

    For some reason, my family never hung mistletoe – they were Quakers and Scottish Baptists and may have felt random kissing was sinful or something. That background may be why we don’t do too much at the Holidays – so I’m enjoying yours vicariously! Love your paintings, your philosophical commentary and most of all, I enjoy your enjoyment of the season!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m pretty sure that random kissing was looked down upon… I think that’s why later they changed it to stories about “true love” … seems a bit less promiscuous that way!

  5. Jennifer McLean 6 months ago

    I love that the twinkling lights seem to spell hope. I get it. Hugs Charlie.

  6. M. Caulder 6 months ago

    Such a heartwarming story, what a delightful family tradition. The mistletoe painting is as eloquent as the story. Christmas is definitely the season of HOPE. 🎄❣️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Miste! 😃💕 I’m so happy you enjoyed this one!

      • M. Caulder 6 months ago

        I enjoy all of your stories, I just don’t always take the time to comment, because I’m lazy! 😃💕

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 months ago

    Maybe you should get some mistletoe, stand under it and kiss, and see what package arrives. There’s magic in the air, you know. Or you could hang this Doodlewash over your heads – it’s very authentic looking.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      hehe.. thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I considered printing and hanging this, just to see what would happen.

  8. SnehLata Maheshwari 6 months ago

    What ever it is but i like kiss under the Mistletoe.haha . Would be ,💃. Charlie its awonderful theme as always. Liked your Mistletoe.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Yeah, kisses are always a good thing! hehe

  9. smzang 6 months ago

    as beautiful as the season itself!

  10. memadtwo 6 months ago

    Taking a break for the rest of the year, but wanted to wish you the merriest of Christmases. Enjoy!! (I know you will) (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe!! 😃💕 Wishing you the same my friend! Hope you have a fantastic break and beautiful and amazing holiday!!

  11. craftyboutiquebytam 6 months ago

    Beautiful painting and I loved the story. =)

  12. itsmyhusbandandme 6 months ago

    I have a plastic piece stuck above our bed. Need I say more?
    Great pic.
    JP

  13. I’ve never seen any mistletoe in my life, thanks for the story 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Aww glad I could show you! And happy you liked the story, Deissy! 😃💕

  14. Thomas Blanchard 6 months ago

    Wonderful mistletoe and shiny bow! Pucker up … 😘💋👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

  15. Sandra Gilbert 6 months ago

    I have thought about having mistletoe at Christmas in ages. I don’t think I have even seen any this year. Hmm, now I want to go find some 😆

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      hehe… you totally should!! 😃💕 There should always be more kisses this time of year!

  16. Delores Azary 6 months ago

    I love your traditions!

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