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Poinsettia: A Symbol of Love

Christmas is here, and we often see poinsettias decorating businesses and homes. Poinsettias grow wild in rainy, tropical regions of Central America, and Joel Poinsett, America's first ambassador to Mexico, brought the plant to our country in 1828.

Poinsettias are associated with Christmas because of the legend of Pepita, a poor Mexican child. In her village, people would bring presents to the chapel at Christmas and put them around the nativity to honor Christ. Little Pepita could not afford to buy a gift so she gathered a bouquet of local weeds and lovingly placed them at the foot of the manger. Onlookers were astonished when the leaves of the weeds turned to brilliant red. Since then the poinsettia is a reminder that Christ is honored, not by expensive gifts and glittery show, but by our love.

Poinsettias also are a symbol of God's love for us. The red of the traditional poinsettia symbolizes the blood of Jesus, and the central seeds resemble the crown of thorns he wore upon the cross. These remind us of God's complete love for his creation. Christmas is very much wrapped up with Easter. Our fallen world is in a mess, separated from its Creator, but God was willing to step down from Heaven and become one of us. He suffered the same trials and penalties we experience, ultimately facing and conquering our worse enemy, death. There is hope, because the baby Jesus grew up and acted as our representative, accepting our sins upon himself as he died upon the cross. Of course, his death would not have meant much if he had stayed dead. But he didn't. On the third day after his death he rose from the grave. We have many eyewitness accounts from people who saw him, touched him, and ate with him after his resurrection. Although God's work is not done and evil still reigns for a while yet upon the earth, we have God's promise that his perfect gift is coming. Peace on Earth, good will toward men! Hallelujah!

Merry Christmas to all, and in the busyness of the season, may you focus on the true meaning of the holiday. May your hearts be filled with love and peace.   Deborah

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Reader Comments (15)

I always loved the heartwarming story of Pepita. I really like the white poinsettias though. I can never find them as white as you have shown. Theses are really gorgeous.

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Lovely story and thoughts Deb!! Beautiful photos! Wishing you a holiday season filled with Love and Peace. Happy Winter Solstice!

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

I enjoyed reading your post, Deborah. The true meaning does seem to get lost in the stress of the hustle and bustle. Focusing on the true meaning does bring peace and comfort knowing how much God loves us all. Have a Merry Christmas. ~Amy

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy/goawayimgardening!

What a lovely, and appropriate, post to celebrate the season. Merry Christmas Deborah!

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCurbstone Valley Farm

In my part of the world, Poinsettias are not really closely associated with Christmas at all. We grow them outdoor in our gardens and they're in bloom during our Winter. I'm amazed at the variety of colour when I see photos of them posted from the States ... the white ones with the green veins pictured at the top of your post are just stunning! Great post ... I enjoyed this informative read.

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBernieh

Thanks for these bright bracts and your holiday post, Deb,

I've not purchased any poinsettias this year and realize I'm missing them, especially the white form. And thanks for visiting the Santas on Bay Area Tendrils... Happy Christmas!


December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlice Joyce

Thanks Deb! Beautifully written. God bless you and yours this Christmas season.

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEve

I had not heard the story of Pepita before. That is lovely!

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Bay

They grow wild in rainy tropical areas? I thought they are not easy to handle. They are lovely and I would like to have them grow wild in my garden. But the weather is too hot for them here. Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOne

A lovely Christmas post.

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Dear Deborah,
Merry Christmas to you and have a blossoming new year.

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVesna - Kalipso

Thanks for the beautiful expression of the meaning of Christmas! Have a blessed celebration of the Savior's birth.

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGarden Sense

Dear Deb - thank you for this festive Poinsettia story and the reminder of the reason for the season!
Bless you

Laura x

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatioPatch

I hope that you enjoy Christmas Deb and all best wishes for the New Year. May it treat you and your garden kindly xxx

December 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

I never knew the story behind pointsettas, so thanks. Peace and love to everyone!!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTS

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