December 11, 2012
How To Make A Mistletoe Decoration
A Fun Filled Activity Full
This year I made mistletoe with a group in a Long Term Care
facility and it proved to be a fun activity. Real mistletoe can be purchased but it is difficult to find;
it may be too expensive for a group activity; and it is poisonous making it unsuitable for some
programs. Instead of the real thing, I use boxwood. Freshly cut boxwood branches look very similar to
mistletoe. The leaves will stay green and will not drop off. It is an evergreen, making it
available in the colder months of the year. Boxwood is a popular garden plant and should be fairly easy to find.
Perhaps you have some growing in your garden? It is sold as seasonal greenery at grocery stores and
garden centres. Boxwood is not meant for human consumption and do keep away from pets.
This activity has many therapeutic benefits.
Participants learn about the plant
and its tradition, promoting cognitive
stimulation. The materials include live greenery, decorative ribbons and bells for
sensory stimulation. Participants are encouraged to help each other and participate in
discussion promoting social interaction. A discussion as well as the sensory stimulation may
help participants to reminisce about their own experiences with mistletoe, promoting
It can be found growing wild in different parts of Europe including
England and France.
The botanical name is Viscum
I was surprised to learn that this romantic and festive plant is a
parasite. It grows on the branches of trees and is able
to absorb moisture and nutrients from the tree. It looks like a
small shrub growing in the canopy of the
It reproduces from seeds that are deposited on branches, mostly
with the help of birds as they eat the berries.
Mistletoe is an evergreen which means that it stays "forever green" all
year. It can
be found much more easily in the winter when the trees
loose their leaves.
Mistletoe is poisonous to humans but many birds and animals eat the
berries and leaves.
Real mistletoe is harvested and
sold as decorations.
The leaves are oval, green and shiny; and the
berries are white.
Traditionally, mistletoe is hung from the ceiling and preferably
close to a front entrance door. Two people standing under the mistletoe must kiss. What a
wonderful way to greet family, friends or that special someone.
One long decorative red ribbon
One piece of string
Three small pieces of
One small bell
One cluster of artificial white
1. Group the three boxwood branches
2. Tuck the artificial berries and bell in
amongst the boxwood braches.
3. Use string or thin ribbon to tie everything
together with a double knot.
4. Tie a decorative ribbon around the string and create a loop in the
back. Trim back the string so that the decorative ribbon is only visible.
5. Hang it up high enough so that people can go under it.
Alternatively it can be hung up on a door or put on a Christmas tree. Another great idea is attach it to
a wrapped gift as decoration.