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12 excuses to swerve the dreaded mistletoe

There are plenty of loveable Christmas traditions that make even the least festive people embrace the season - but kissing under the mistletoe isn't one of them

Blog Post Author – Kirsty
15th December 2021

There are plenty of loveable Christmas traditions that make even the least festive people embrace the season, the eating of mince pies, the opening of advent calendars, the hanging of stockings… But the act of kissing under the mistletoe is definitely not one of them!

If, like us, the thought of being peer pressured into locking lips with a potential stranger by a piece of shrubbery sounds criminal rather than Christmassy, here are 12 excuses to defuse and distract so you can make your grand escape.


If you find yourself trapped under the mistletoe with an interested party giving you the wiggly eyebrows (you know what I mean) a sure-fire way to escape is to declare your allergies and quickly make an exit. Leave them wondering if you’re allergic to mistletoe, or physical affection in general.

“I’ve eaten garlic”

Nobody likes a smooch from somebody with bad breath. Insist that you’ve eaten too much garlic bread (or similar) and back away from the mistletoe with a sheepish expression. This is especially effective if you suspect your company of being a vampire.

“I’ve left the oven on”

Remember to gasp dramatically before announcing that you’ve left the oven on (or any other appropriate electrical appliance). If you create enough drama, everyone will forget there was even a mistletoe hanging above your head in the first place.

“It’s my cat’s birthday”

With this one, you can either 1. Use this as a reason why you need to leave immediately or, 2. Say it as if you’re just stating a fun fact or making conversation (and then try not to blink for a really long time). Either should do the trick.

“I need to wash my hair”

There’s a reason why this one is such an overused, classic excuse for getting out of things you don’t want to do. Say it with confidence and they won’t be able to argue.


There’s nothing like a soft little cough to trigger a flight response from 90% of people these days. Make sure it’s just a small cough though; we only want to put your company off, not cause the building to be evacuated.

“Hey, aren’t you that person who…”

A great way to make someone uncomfortable is to mistake them for someone else, especially if that someone else has done something particularly strange or peculiar. For example “Hey, I know you! Aren’t you that guy who buys snails on the internet?”


Just as they’re leaning in, point behind them and say ‘“oh my gosh is that monopoly!?”. When they turn around to look - run for it.

“I’m waiting on an important call”

Ideally, they should nod respectfully and leave you to it. In the event that they start asking follow-up questions, we recommend giving them your life story until they regret coming anywhere near you in the first place.

Start playing the imitation game

People fear what they don’t understand. One way to cause utter, utter confusion is to simply start repeating anything your mistletoe-partner says. And don’t crack. Not even for a minute.

“Do you like… insert random object

If all else fails; make it weird. Ask your company if they like something random such as kazoos or paperclips, or ask them if they enjoy a super niche activity such as trainspotting or bookbinding. Whatever it is, make sure it’s a conversation killer disguised as a conversation starter.

Try reverse psychology

Gently rejecting somebody doesn’t always go to plan; some people love the chase. To scare away your mistletoe companion, we recommend a little bit of reverse psychology by expressing your very specific and intense interest in their jumper, their hairstyle - or their feet!  Before you know it, they’ll be hiding from YOU.

We bet you’ve got some great tactics for swerving the mistletoe yourself. Why not let us in on the secret by using #AlternativeChristmas on Twitter or LinkedIn to share your best escape routes for mistletoe encounters. We’ll be sending some non-festive yet festive treats to our favorite ideas.

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