IF you're feeling romantic, head on down to Morrisons in Taunton and pick up a free sprig of mistletoe.

The supermarket is hoping to get the town kissing this festive season.


The store reckons that kissing under the mistletoe could become extinct after research revealed younger generations are shunning the tradition.

It concluded that 71 per cent of UK adults under 35 have never experienced the custom of a kiss under the mistletoe, compared to 38 per cent of over 55s.


The retailer is hoping to turn around the trend by giving away mistletoe in all of its stores to sprinkle a little Christmas magic.

Graham Lacey, store general manager at Morrisons in Taunton, said: “Kissing under the mistletoe is possibly the oldest Christmas tradition we have in Britain - it dates back over 2,000 years.

"It would be a shame to see it become a thing of past so we will be giving mistletoe to customers who look in need of a magical Christmas kiss.”

Showing one of the biggest declines of all British Christmas traditions, last year only one in seven (14%) UK adults kissed someone under the mistletoe, compared with 74 per cent who sent Christmas cards and 61 per cent who ate a mince pie.

Other traditions falling out of favour amongst Brits last year were carol singing – only 9 per cent enjoyed a traditional Christmas croon in 2014 – and Christmas pudding – only 13 per cent of the nation served up the traditional dish, whilst fewer than one in ten (8%) actually made one.

But whilst few younger Brits have enjoyed a kiss under the mistletoe first-hand, 87 per cent of this age group claimed there was someone they’d like to kiss under the mistletoe this year (80 per cent amongst all age groups).

Morrisons mistletoe kissing research also revealed.

•When it comes to making the first move, men are the bolder of the two. Fear of rejection (20%) and a dislike of public displays of affection (17%) were the reasons most Brits shied away from going in for a peck.

•When asked where the most festive kisses take place, the pub (11%), work Christmas parties (10%) and even the office (5%) were named as the locations most likely to set the mood.

•Interestingly, 1% want to kiss their boss and 2% would like to kiss a colleague but 12% are afraid of looking desperate.

•Brits voted Kelly Brook as the celeb they’d most like to pucker up to - Top five female celebs Brits most want to kiss under the mistletoe Kelly Brook, Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, Michelle Keegan.

Top five male celebs Brits most want to kiss under the mistletoe David Beckham, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Prince Harry, Channing Tatum.

Mistletoe fast facts.

*The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe began due to its ancient associations with magical healing powers and fertility, with some cultures viewing it as an aphrodisiac due to the suggestive arrangement of its berries.

*According to Morrisons Mistletoe Buyer Glen Cooper, this year’s Mistletoe crop will be one of the best for 10 years, due to ideal warmer and wetter growing conditions.

*During Victorian times, if a girl refused a kiss whilst standing under mistletoe, it was said that she wouldn't receive any marriage proposals for at least a year, if not indefinitely.

*In the past 20 years industry sales data shows mistletoe sales have declined by 15 per cent year-on-year.

*To account for its increased mistletoe output this year, 250 Morrisons staff will be preparing 50,000 bunches of the seasonal spring on a mistletoe production line at its own 17.5 acre Flower World site in Derby – the supermarket is one of the nation’s biggest retailers of mistletoe.