The tree is glittering in the living room, and garlands are plentiful throughout the house. But people searching for another holiday standard, mistletoe, will be hard pressed this year to find a decent-looking sprig, if they're able to find any at all.
There are many species of mistletoe. But the kissing kind that is native to the United States, a semi-parasitic plant that grows wild in certain parts of the country, is scarce this year because of a relentless drought in Texas and adverse weather elsewhere.
The branches normally have smooth green leaves and small white berries, but in New York City, the few branches that have arrived are so anemic that they just aren't worth the high price tag, many sellers say.
Jena Min, 36, the owner of a Brooklyn boutique and gallery, recently strolled the flower shops along 28th Street in Manhattan with her husband, Gunther Romer, and searched high and low for fresh mistletoe to decorate her retail space.
"I had a hard time finding even the fake stuff," said Ms. Min, whose shop is in Boerum Hill.
The story is the same in other places. One of the country's largest suppliers, Tiemann's Mistletoe in Priddy, Tex., has halted shipments for the first time in its 58-year history.
"If you have been kissed under the mistletoe and it was bought, there's a 95 percent chance it came from us," said Robert Tiemann, the owner.
But not this year.
"There's not enough mistletoe in the State of Texas to run a commercial operation," said Mr. Tiemann.