12 Days of Giveaways: Day 1

UPDATE: This sweeps is now closed, but don’t miss the rest of our 12 Days of Giveaways! Here at XOXOAD, we love doing something special to usher in the holidays, and this year, we’re celebrating with 12 Days of Giveaways! Enter each day for your chance to win a different prize pack of books perfect for any reader—and we hope you get everything you wished for. Our first day of giveaways is brought to you by the New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries! To enter the contest, leave us a comment answering the following question: why do we kiss under the mistletoe? 


 

Woohoo! It’s Christmas time, and we’re in the mood for giving. All you have to do is enter our9781476786124 giveaways, and you could win historical romances, including my What Happens Under the Mistletoe.

By the way, you may not know that kissing under the mistletoe is one of the truly original Christmas customs from England (as opposed to Christmas trees, Santa, and stockings, which were all imported from elsewhere). It started when the English began hanging “kissing boughs,” that included not just mistletoe, but holly, ivy, rosemary, bay leaves, and laurel leaves in a big ball of greens. And every time a man kissed a woman, he had to pluck off a mistletoe berry. Once the berries were gone, no more kissing allowed! If you’d like to see some actual kissing boughs (and prints of the kissing going on beneath them), be sure to check out my Pinterest page for What Happens Under the Mistletoe. 

Today’s giveaways are:

What Happen Under the Mistletoe by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp, and Meredith Duran

A Holiday of Love by Judith McNaught, Jude Deveraux, Jill Barnett, and Arnette Lamb

A Winter Scandal by Candace Camp

Contest rules can be found here.

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What Happens Under the Mistletoe

What Happens Under the Mistletoe

Sabrina Jeffries

New York Times bestselling authors Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, and Candace Camp, and USA TODAY bestselling author Meredith Duran come together for a sizzling historical romance holiday anthology.

HEAT METER
A Winter Scandal

A Winter Scandal

Candace Camp

Even with whispers of winter scandal swirling around them, Thea and Gabriel cannot deny the longing in their hearts. A longing which promises the best gift of all: a shelter from the storm . . . in each other’s arms.

HEAT METER
Holiday of Love

Holiday of Love

Jude Deveraux

When the weather outside is frightful, what better way to warm up than with four magnificent tales of love and adventure? Slip into a bubble bath or curl up in front of a roaring fire—and let New York Times bestselling romance authors Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught, Arnette Lamb, and Jill Barnett whisk you away!

HEAT METER

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104 comments so far


  1. evolvhealth4u

    Thank you for a great giveaway!!!

  2. This giveaway is perfect! During the holidays when you want a good story, but the shopping and baking and wrapping and decorating take up your time, a book like this allows you to indulge in a good romance without committing to a longer book.

  3. This giveaway is incredible. Such great books from awesome authors. Would love to win. Thank you for the chance.

  4. Love the cover of yourChristmas book. What a rich green.

  5. We kiss under the mistletoe because it is a tradition – but mostly it’s a good excuse to kiss someone we love, or maybe someone we could love!

  6. dfosterbooks

    Norse god Baldur — second son of Odin, god of truth and light — who was so beloved by the other gods that they sought to protect him from all the dangers of the world. His mother, the goddess Frigg, “took an oath from fire and water, iron and all metals, stones and earth, from trees, sicknesses and poisons, and from all four-footed beasts, birds and creeping things, that they would not hurt Baldur.” And thus the beautiful god was deemed invincible.

    Jealous of Baldur’s new powers, the mischievous Loki set out to find the one thing on Earth that might be able to hurt him. He found that the goddess Frigg forgot to ask mistletoe — tiny and forgotten — not to harm her beloved son. In the end, a dart fashioned from the little plant was used to murder Baldur in front of all the other gods who loved him so dearly.

    Frigg, of course, was devastated. The tears of Baldur’s mother became the berries of the plant, and it was decreed that “mistletoe would never again be used as a weapon and that she would place a kiss on anyone who passed under it.”

    And thus we hang mistletoe underneath our doorways come the holidays — so that we never overlook it again.

  7. Dragon_ladyjo

    Oh wow, I was going to give a smart assy answer, but I googled it and it’s interesting. It dates back to Greek and Norse mythology. Thanks for the giveaway 😘

  8. GildaVictoria

    I love this giveway! In this holidays, I like to read a good book.

  9. Looks wonderful! Thank you for the opportunity!

  10. We kiss under the mistletoe because a kiss is lovely!

  11. Always liked the mistletoe!

  12. Starshine4U

    Kissing under the mistletoe began in England, and has continued here in America. Thanks for the opportunity!

  13. Kissing under the mistletoe comes from the English custom of hanging Kissing boughs

  14. It’s a chance to get a kiss from someone you’d never day kiss otherwise!

  15. One couldn’t ask for a gift better than Christmas stories from some of my favorite authors!

  16. momof3boysj

    English began hanging “kissing boughs,” that included not just mistletoe, but holly, ivy, rosemary, bay leaves, and laurel leaves in a big ball of greens. And every time a man kissed a woman, he had to pluck off a mistletoe berry. Once the berries were gone, no more kissing allowed! – See more at: http://xoxoafterdark.com/2015/12/01/12-days-giveaways-day-1/#sthash.bp3J40Lc.dpuf

  17. Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? As the legend goes, Balder was killed by an evil spirit with an arrow made of mistletoe. Saddened by her son’s death, Frigga wept tears of white berries, which brought Balder back to life. Frigga was so overjoyed that she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to all who passed beneath it. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  18. This giveaway is SO exciting!! TY! I love Mistletoe!

  19. Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? Because the holidays are all about letting loose and relaxing. Mistletoe gives us a safe and fun way to do just that.

  20. We kiss under the mistletoe because it is an English Christmas tradition, thank you for this great giveaway chance.

  21. I believe kissing under the mistletoe is a way that people found as an excuse for kissing – because an excuse to kiss someone you favor is a gift to all.

  22. Diane Sallans

    to remind us to stop at the doorway, and to enter in peace, not enmity – plus it’s good luck to kiss under it!

  23. Kissing under the mistletoe is an English custom. I think it continues today because it is a good way to get a wanted kiss!
    Thanks for the contest! Happy holidays!

  24. jaybird3939

    Great giveaway!! Love holiday stories.

  25. lindsay8808

    Love this! I kiss under it because it has to be bad luck not to, right?

  26. Really interesting background!

  27. thebookdisciple

    I have no idea why we kiss under mistletoe! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  28. sounds like a fun one

  29. To get that little Christmas tingle…

  30. Lorimeehan1

    Both of those are great books!

  31. I like the idea of any chance to sneak a kiss is okay. Great giveaway.

  32. gamistress66

    love that cover as well as the theme idea

  33. dbrown3400

    I loved reading about the Greek, Norse and Celtic origins of kissing under the mistletoe as a tradition. Such interesting information. This is a great contest.

  34. Blue Falcon

    Love regency romances. Would love to read all of these books.

  35. Lavernl714

    It’s an English Christmas tradition.

  36. parislabarge

    Because kissing is fun!

  37. chipmu5472

    It was started as an English custom and has spread to the US :). Thanks for the chance to win one of your books.

  38. Why wouldn’t we kiss under the mistletoe, its great to have an excuse to be brave!

  39. I too had to look this one up! As the legend goes, Balder was killed by an evil spirit with an arrow made of mistletoe. Saddened by her son’s death, Frigga wept tears of white berries, which brought Balder back to life. Frigga was so overjoyed that she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to all who passed beneath it. Although according to Luna Lovegood mistletoe is full of nargles.. (sorry, couldn’t resist the Harry Potter reference). Thanks for the giveaway!

  40. cldegraaff

    While I agree that kissing boughs are an English tradition, the kissing under mistletoe was imported by the Norse invaders who brought their beliefs and gods with them, as others have commented above. No matter how they evolved, they’re still a fun tradition and this is a great giveaway!

  41. Kissing boughs, who knew? I think that sounds like a more fun tradition than the current version.

  42. I would have to say that we kiss under the mistletoe as a way to kiss someone that we have feelings for without really having to come right out and say so.

  43. I don’t know where the tradition came from, but we do it because it is tradition and good luck.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  44. It’s tradition. Not everyone knows a meaning behind a tradition, but still the tradition gets passed down and almost everyone knows the tradition.

  45. one of the truly original Christmas customs from England

  46. Andra Dalton

    The idea of hanging mistletoe started in England, as the English hung boughs of not just mistletoe, but holly, ivy, rosemary, bay leaves, & laurel leaves in balls of greenery about. Each time a couple kissed they plucked off a mistletoe berry until they were all gone which thus ended the kissing!!! Must give a nod to the Greek & Norse Mythology as well as I found their legend most interesting to read!!! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win & good luck to all who enter!!! Happy Holidays!!!:)

  47. Kissing under the mistletoe is from England where they used the kissing boughs. Thanks for the giveaway!

  48. old English tradition Kissing boughs, which is a great tradition.

  49. Love this contest please pick me! 🙂

  50. Kissing under sprigs of mistletoe is a well-known holiday tradition, but this little plant’s history as a symbolic herb dates back thousands of years. Many ancient cultures prized mistletoe for its healing properties. The Greeks were known to use it as a cure for everything from menstrual cramps to spleen disorders, and the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder noted it could be used as a balm against epilepsy, ulcers and poisons. The plant’s romantic overtones most likely started with the Celtic Druids of the 1st century A.D. Because mistletoe could blossom even during the frozen winter, the Druids came to view it as a sacred symbol of vivacity, and they administered it to humans and animals alike in the hope of restoring fertility.

  51. avidreader4fun

    kissing under the mistletoe is one of the truly original Christmas customs from England (as opposed to Christmas trees, Santa, and stockings, which were all imported from elsewhere). It started when the English began hanging “kissing boughs,” that included not just mistletoe, but holly, ivy, rosemary, bay leaves, and laurel leaves in a big ball of greens. And every time a man kissed a woman, he had to pluck off a mistletoe berry. Once the berries were gone, no more kissing allowed! – According to History.com: the kissing tradition appears to have first caught on among servants in England before spreading to the middle classes. As part of the early custom, men were allowed to steal a kiss from any woman caught standing under the mistletoe, and refusing was viewed as bad luck. Yet another tradition instructed the merrymakers to pluck a single berry from the mistletoe with each kiss, and to stop smooching once they were all gone.

  52. We kiss under the mistletoe because it’s hot!

  53. Circumspect4

    Kissing under the mistletoe is a tradition that actually makes me laugh. We had mistletoe hung in our house growing up. Thanks for the memory and I need to start hanging it in my house!

  54. brigittenrich

    It comes from England. Every time a man kisses a woman, he had to pull off a berry. When the berries are gone, no more kissing. The English would hang all kinds of greenery, not just “mistletoe”.

  55. kimbacaffeinate

    Mistletoe and wow what a wonderful giveaway!

  56. I think it’s a lovely excuse to kiss someone we love! Thanks for the chance to win!!

  57. We kiss under the mistletoe because it just makes it that much more romantic. Also, hanging a mistletoe makes it feel more like Christmas.

  58. bookworm4evs

    We kiss under the mistletoe as an excuse to show affection to loved ones during this joyous season! I’d love to win!

  59. The season’s almost lost tradition. From the Norse mythology and symbolic promise to never forget incorporated into the loving interpretation: to catch a kiss under the mistletoe or holly. A loving act of warmth and welcoming.
    Never forget and keep this sweet tradition.

  60. It began as a means of affectation and welcome
    Thanks for the giveaway

  61. Kissing someone you love is a very wonderful and romantic thing!!! Any excuse will,do!!!!

  62. We kiss under the mistletoe because it gives us an excuse for perhaps an elicit kiss …

  63. ShaggyDocious

    Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? For centuries, mistletoe has been considered a plant that increases life and fertility. Norse legends tell the tale of Balder, son of the goddess Frigga. As the legend goes, Balder was killed by an evil spirit with an arrow made of mistletoe. Saddened by her son’s death, Frigga wept tears of white berries, which brought Balder back to life. Frigga was so overjoyed that she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to all who passed beneath it.
    Mistletoe traditions have evolved over time. In ancient times, visitors would kiss the hand of a host under the mistletoe when they arrived.
    Since then, traditions have grown a bit more personal. Today, any couple caught standing underneath the mistletoe should prepare to pucker up!

  64. I remember an occasion where a friend put mistletoe over his head and dared me to kiss. Thanks for letting me know about the origins of mistletoe.

  65. We kiss under the mistletoe because it’s a tradition passed down through generations We have a lot of oak trees on our property and in it grows mistletoe My boys climb the trees gather up the mistletoe and sell it at this time of year

  66. Connie Fischer

    What an exciting giveaway! Oh my gosh, how I would love to read and review all of these books. Thanks so much for adding even more happiness to this wonderful season.

  67. CathyGenna

    Sabrina this is great background info! If ok with you I’m going to take that information and put it on the size of an index card. Try to make a fancy background or something to match the book cover. It will make a fantastic addition to put with the book and an ornament!
    I’m so excited I can’t stand it, thank you!!!

  68. It’s an English Christmas tradition.

  69. It’s a fun tradition but I’ve never kissed anyone under the mistletoe.

  70. I believe it is an old English traditiion.

  71. rosaliem2001

    One version of why we kiss under mistletoe is that It started when the English began hanging “kissing boughs,” that included not just mistletoe, but holly, ivy, rosemary, bay leaves, and laurel leaves in a big ball of greens. And every time a man kissed a woman, he had to pluck off a mistletoe berry. Once the berries were gone, no more kissing allowed.

  72. My daughter loves mythology and therefore learned of this Norse tale: As the legend goes, Balder was killed by an evil spirit (Loki) with an arrow made of mistletoe. Saddened by her son’s death, Frigga wept tears of white berries, which brought Balder back to life. Frigga was so overjoyed that she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to all who passed beneath it. Love the books listed for Day 1! Really hope I win! Happy Holidays to All!!!

  73. It started when the English began hanging “kissing boughs,” that included not just mistletoe, but holly, ivy, rosemary, bay leaves, and laurel leaves in a big ball of greens. And every time a man kissed a woman, he had to pluck off a mistletoe berry. Once the berries were gone, no more kissing allowed

  74. It follows an original Christmas custom from England in which they would hang “kissing boughs.”

  75. Sabrina, as always, is a font of fascinating information. Thanks for the contest!

  76. Oops. Forgot to add, we kiss under the mistletoe as a lingering remnant of the kissing bough tradition. Luckily for us, much modern mistletoe is artificial, so we never run out of berries!

  77. I always thought it was weird that people kissed under mistletoe and I always avoided it! I just assumed it was a tradition started “way back when” but I’ve now learned that it’s from Greek mythology.

  78. It goes back to the Norse god Baldur being killed by a dart made from mistletoe: http://mentalfloss.com/article/31977/why-do-we-kiss-under-mistletoe. It’s a neat legend!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  79. Barbiegirl

    Kissing under the mistletoe is a very old Christmas tradition!

  80. Whether freely given or a stolen treat, kisses under the mistletoe are, not only tradition but, a sweet-as-sugarplums indulgence that brings a smile to those kissed lips and…sometimes…an extra beat in your heart. Who can resist that?

  81. To be social.

  82. It started when the English began hanging “kissing boughs,” that included not just mistletoe, but holly, ivy, rosemary, bay leaves, and laurel leaves in a big ball of greens.

  83. It’s an excuse to maybe…..just maybe…. kiss someone you might not normally get the chance to kiss or get close too…..It’s a stolen kiss with an excuse….Thanks for putting out these winning opportunities!!

  84. English custom of kissing boughs and once all berries gone, as one picked after each kiss, then no more kissing beneath it

  85. Penguins106

    It comes from comes from the English custom of hanging Kissing boughs

  86. The English people were the first to hang up kissing boughs and kissed underneath it. This custom spread and now we continue to kiss under mistletoes because a mistletoe was included in the kissing boughs.

  87. books bring me great joy. kissing under the mistletoe is an English tradition. a sign of affection

  88. Kissing under the mistletoe began in England but with a much bigger bough that included holly and ivy as well as mistletoe. Each time a man kissed a woman under the mistletoe he plucked off a mistletoe berry and once all the berries were gone the kissing stopped.

  89. Sandrawoodward365@gmail.com

    Fire in the fireplace, snow forecast. Now all I need is a good book!

  90. It’s a old English tradition.

  91. karenmrinn@aol.com

    “And every time a man kissed a woman, he had to pluck off a mistletoe berry. Once the berries were gone, no more kissing allowed!”

    Hopefully they didn’t EAT the mistletoe berries 🙂

  92. Texas Book Lover

    I’ve always known it to be a fun holiday tradition…other than that I couldn’t tell you why.

    Thanks so much.

    • Texas Book Lover

      Well I answered too fast then went back and read the post and found out the real reason is way back when the English began hanging “kissing boughs,” that included not just mistletoe, but holly, ivy, rosemary, bay leaves, and laurel leaves in a big ball of greens. And every time a man kissed a woman, he had to pluck off a mistletoe berry. Once the berries were gone, no more kissing allowed!

      Very interesting!

  93. I can’t say why anyone else kisses under the mistletoe, but I do it because it’s fun. Nothing like a good kiss to get into the spirit of the holidays!

  94. sunshinehdfan

    It’s an original custom from England. Every kiss lost a berry and when the berries were gone, no more kissing!

  95. We kiss under the mistletoe as a lingering remnant of the kissing bough tradition. But I’ve never done it!

  96. rsbrandt44

    The custom dates back to the English “kissing bough.” Gotta make those berries last.

  97. It started off as a kissing bough. Every time they kissed, they plucked a berry. Once the berries were gone, no more kissing. They probably looked for the branches with the most berries.

  98. featherlight

    It’s just always been a tradition! When I think of mistletoe I always think of the song “I saw mommy kissing Santa Clause underneath the mistletoe last night”! This would make a great Christmas present for myself if I win! Pic me! 😁

  99. I like this version:
    As the legend goes, Balder was killed by an evil spirit with an arrow made of mistletoe. Saddened by her son’s death, Frigga wept tears of white berries, which brought Balder back to life. Frigga was so overjoyed that she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to all who passed beneath it.

  100. stephcullers@gmail.com

    Christians adopted the ancient practice of kissing under the mistletoe and took it with them as they migrated across Europe. However, many relationships have been celebrated and even begun under the ironically poisonous plant.

  101. llovejoy66

    Why kiss under the mistletoe ? Why not i say….just kiss me

  102. fangswandsfairy

    I have always thought it would be great to grow my own mistletoe. I don’t think it grows here though. Steph from Fangswandsandfairydust.com

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