Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Holiday Miracle: The Tale of the Ted Drewes Mistletoe

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Even if we'd had no mistletoe plant, we may have been able to get by with Justin Bieber's song. - IMAGE VIA
  • image via
  • Even if we'd had no mistletoe plant, we may have been able to get by with Justin Bieber's song.

Just so y'all know, the word mistletoe is Anglo-Saxon for "shit-on-a-twig." (Probably.) Does that still make you want to put on a Santa hat with a little sprig attached to the top and sidle up to your sweetie, lips all a-pucker?

If so, you will be distressed to hear that 2012 was almost The Year Without Mistletoe. At least in St. Louis. Droughts in Texas not only disrupted beef production, leading to more expensive steaks and hamburgers, they also disrupted the growth of mistletoe. Well, at least at the mistletoe farms that have traditionally supplied Ted Drewes, St. Louisans' favorite purveyor of holiday greenery.

"They didn't have any at all," confirms operations manager Chris Beckemeier.

So what happened next? Did employees of Ted Drewes embark on an epic road trip across America with a wacky animal sidekick, possibly even to the North Pole to petition Santa Claus himself? Was there laughter and adventure and clever songs and stop-motion animation?

Alas, no. "We did what everyone else does," says Buckemeier. "We did some Google searches."

Within minutes, Ted Drewes had a few new candidates for its mistletoe supplier. They were from California and Oregon, which were not as hard-hit by this summer's drought. Because Ted Drewes is a high-quality operation, it requested samples. In the end, a new mistletoe from Oregon was chosen.

"It's beautiful," says Buckemeier. "It looks better. They use a different preservative. Even the packaging looks better. Sometimes things just work out."

Indeed they do! The same ridiculous weather pattern that caused the drought gave us 70-degree temperatures this past weekend, the sort of weather that gives one the urge to go for some frozen custard and maybe peruse the Christmas greenery in the parking lot.

"If you're not in the market for a tree, you buy a wreath," says Buckemeier. "In warm weather, people get in the mood to decorate outside."

Oh, yeah, about that shit-on-a-twig business: Birds aid in the spread of mistletoe seed by eating the berries and then shitting out the seeds. With luck, some seeds will land on the twigs of bigger trees and sprout and grow.

Tags: , ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation