It is through birds feeding on the berries that the seeds of mistletoe are spread, either from the birds' droppings, or by wiping their sticky beaks on branches after feasting on the berries.
It's quite hard to grow mistletoe – and it will take several years before the plant grows big enough to provide foliage for a kissing bough – but it's worth a try if you are able to get hold of some berries. Each berry contains just one seed, which should be squeezed out onto the underside of a branch on a mature, solitary tree – a hawthorn, willow, apple or lime tree, preferably in a sunny location, is ideal. The best time of year to do this is February, so try cutting a small sprig from your Christmas bunch and storing it in a cool shed or garage until needed.
If you do decide to have a go at growing some mistletoe, take care not to overdo it. Mistletoe is a parasite and, if allowed to spread too much, will drain the tree of energy and eventually kill it.
Real foliage decorations such as holly, ivy and mistletoe are much better environmentally than their plastic counterparts – and by bringing fresh greenery into your house during Christmastime you'll be keeping an ancient tradition alive.