As you deck the halls with holly or duck a sloppy kiss from Uncle Walter under the mistletoe, you'll be pleased to know that these festive fripperies play a serious role in skincare and medicine. Perhaps some of these will give you last minute ideas for gifts.

If nothing else, you'll have something to say when the conversation with relatives or neighbors starts to flag. For example, did you know that kissing under the mistletoe is a winter tradition that began with the Greek festival of Saturnalia, celebrated in late December.

Mistletoe is a powerful antioxidant and so far we have found it in L'uvalla's Orange Toner, Aubrey Organics conditioner and 3Lab PERFECT Foaming Cleanser. Balsam, one of the most popular Christmas tree species, has radical scavenging monotepernes and is in Aveda's Be Curl Conditioner and Rare 2B Rare Natural Care. Cedar is an astringent, amongst other things. You'll find it in Rare Natural Care and John Masters Organics styling gel.

As you absently hum 'The Holly and the Ivy", know that ivy is a vasoactive and is used in the amazing Iron Cream Mask facial treatment and Lather shampoo. Meanwhile, holly - or a form of it - is but another name for the cure-all yerba mate. This season's black, as far as beauty companies go, yerba is in Suki's shampoo, Pangea's facial mask and Skin2Skin Anti-wrinkle night cream.  Finally, what is myrrh doing in Planetary Formulas cream for broken veins? Or that other staple of the Three Kings, frankincense, in Envision Beauty.