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WEDNESDAY

Strangest thing: Prior to being assigned this curious little pick, I had never heard of traditional decorative “kissing balls” before. That’s right: Thirty Christmases now for yours truly and not one single kissing ball to be found. But damned if I didn’t go to a holiday shindig last weekend and—after weaving through a labyrinth of human sleeperholds and beelining for the safety of the lukewarm crab dip—thwap! hit my head against a beribboned X-mas doodad dangling from the heavens. No shit: an honest-to-god kissing ball—or, for those who don’t worship at the espadrilles of Martha Stewart, a dense, grapefruit-sized orb of holly berries intended to boost the merriment. Perhaps exclamations such as my Newtonian outburst of “Hey, look everybody: a kissing ball!” will encourage smoochy couples everywhere to attend tonight’s “Kissing Balls to Share” workshop at Brookside Gardens, where said balls will be constructed of boxwood, evergreen, and, sigh, love sweet love. Behave yourselves at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Brookside Gardens Visitors Center Adult Classroom, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton. $28. For reservations call (301) 962-1451. (Sean Daly)