Mistletoe can seem like a holiday afterthought for many, but for me it’s a rustic touch I love having in my home. Each year after Thanksgiving, I gather wild mistletoe and berries from my family’s ranch to use as holiday decor. Far beyond the vineyards and up into the hills of our ranch grow clusters of wild mistletoe that thrive high up in oak trees. The retrieval isn’t always easy and almost always requires a ladder and long pruning shears; however, the search for the perfect bunch is part of the fun. Dressing in cozy flannel and a windproof vest keeps me warm on an especially chilly afternoon as today.
To accompany the mistletoe, I also like gathering red berries for a pop of color. These are from the California-native Toyon tree, which is often called “Christmas berry” or “California holly.” Apparently, the abundance of these trees in the Los Angeles hills are how Hollywood got its name.
A simple, festive ribbon to tie a bundle together completes the look; I like red burlap or red and green plaid. When it comes to arranging the mistletoe and berries, I take a more wild approach. By no means does your bunch need to be perfectly symmetrical. It is wild foliage, after all!