December 22, 2008

St. Louis without any actual mistletoe

Merchants and suppliers in St. Louis say individuals seeking actual mistletoe this year are out of luck as the kissing aid is missing in action.

Baisch & Skinner Inc. President John Baisch said this year's lack of the bough-and-berry combination is due to a waning interest in the traditional holiday fare used to provoke Christmas kisses, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Monday.

There are just no calls for it anymore, the head of the Florists' Row wholesaler said. Really, it's a thing of the past. It's just one of those traditions that have gone by the wayside.

Florist Chuck Knoll agreed that fresh-cut mistletoe has not been a strong holiday seller for years, leading him to only carry a silk version of the traditional item.

Dr. Anthony Scalzo of Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center suggested the decline in actual mistletoe interest could be due to misinformation regarding the plant's toxic nature.

Overall, it is really not as toxic as some have claimed, Scalzo, medical director of the hospital's poison center, told the Post-Dispatch. You'd have to eat a lot of it to be in any serious danger.