Christmas is a time of love, joy and cheer. It is celebrated on the 25th of December every year to mark the birth of Lord Jesus. Christmas is synonymous with love, peace, plum cake, Christmas trees and decorations. Some of popular decorative pieces that are used during Christmas are the poinsettias. These lovely plants are native to Central America and are bright red in color. They were used even by the Aztecs, as a medicine for fevers. These plants are used because of their bright color and significance to the festival of Christmas. Poinsettias get their name from Poinsett who was the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in the 1800's. He brought these plants to the United States and had them cultivated. Eventually, they were cultivated commercially and used as decorative pieces. These beautiful plants also have a nice legend associated with them. Read on to find out more about the legend of poinsettias and enjoy the story.
Flowers Of The Holy Night
The Story Of Maria And Pablo
The legend behind the poinsettia flowers is a sweet one. Here is the story of a little girl and her brother and their love for the Lord.
A long time ago in Mexico, there lived a little girl called Maria and her brother Pablo. They were from a poor family. Maria and her brother looked forward to Christmas when, every year, the local church set up a nativity scene. Even before Christmas, the celebrations usually started with a lot of pomp and show. Maria and Pablo loved Christmas, but they were disheartened because they could not afford to give the baby Jesus a gift on his birthday. As they walked to the Church that Christmas Eve, Maria was not happy, but sad. As she and her brother were walking, an angel came to them and said, "All you have to do is gather what's at your feet."
Hearing this, the children obeyed and diligently gathered the weeds that were on the side of the road. They proceeded to the Church, and by now Maria's heart was lighter because she knew that she was giving the Lord a gift which was filled with love. The other children jeered and mocked them. Maria and her brother placed the weeds near the crib of Jesus. Looking at them doing this, the other children started embarrassing them and almost brought Maria to tears. At this instant there was a miracle. The green weeds turned into beautiful red star shaped flowers. The other children stopped laughing at them and were stunned at what had happened. They realized that a gift did not have to be expensive; it must be given from the heart to be accepted by the Lord. Since that night, the poinsettia flowers have been called, 'Flores de Noche Buena', meaning 'Flowers of the Holy Night'.
Poinsettias And Christmas
The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in the 1800's, Joel Roberts Poinsett, saw the beautiful red flowers and decided to bring a few back to the United States and try to grow them in his greenhouse. Poinsett succeeded in growing these plants and gave them as gifts to his friends, family and other botanists like himself. He tried to work towards cultivating the plant commercially. Though the genus Euphorbia was assigned to it, his name invariably got connected to the plant. Till date, these bright red flowers are called Poinsettias.
The Christmas Poinsettia
The better-known leaves are deep, deep red,
Of the Christmas poinsettia that adorn its head.
The yellow flowers are on the tippy top.
How Christmassy they look on the tabletop.
It is so much fun to go look for on in the flower shop.
Christmas is pretty with red and green,
And the poinsettia's yellow top is preen.
The kids love to dance around
This grandeur flower in the ground.
Plant your poinsettia and gather 'round.
- Harold Dean Sink
The legend of poinsettias is a charming and simple one, with a very basic moral; any gift which is full of love and given straight from the heart is better appreciated than any expensive gift that one can think of. These lovely plants make for beautiful decorations around the house and they sure do brighten up the room!