At Plantscapers, there’s one plant that truly heralds the coming of the holiday season–poinsettias. These vibrant plants brighten corporate buildings and homes alike and spark excitement for the upcoming revelries.
Of course, 2020 is a year unlike any other, so the holidays will look a bit different. Strangely, the poinsettia is even more appropriate this year as it symbolizes bringing whatever you have to the table.
Poinsettias are tropical plants native to Mexico and Central America. The shape of their bright bracts (what we think of as flowers) are a symbol for the Star of Bethlehem that led the three wise men to Jesus. Their vivid red hue symbolizes the blood of Christ. White poinsettias represent Jesus’ purity.
It’s a more colloquial story that seems so appropriate this year, though. In Mexico, there is a legend about a young girl named Pepita. She was visiting the church on Christmas Eve, also known as La Noche Buena. It was customary to bring a gift for the baby Jesus on display in the cathedral, but Pepita had nothing to give and no money to buy a gift fit for a king.
Or so she thought. Her cousin told her that it didn’t matter whether the gift was big or small, only that it was given in love. So Pepita gathered weeds by the side of the road and crafted a small bouquet. She entered the cathedral and placed them at the foot of the baby Jesus. And then the miracle occurred. Her humble bouquet transformed into the brilliant red blooms that we know today. To this day, holiday poinsettias are called Flores de Noche Buena in Mexico.
Of course, this is just a legend, but it’s one with a poignant lesson for today. No matter what we have to give this holiday season, whether it’s a donation to a local charity, a gift for family, or just a kind word and an encouraging smile to someone that needs it, this kindness is amplified. Our world is in desperate need of selflessness and kindness right now. A handful of weeds given with love means as much as the most elaborate display of hothouse flowers when times are dark.
As we near the Christmas season, I hope that you think of kindness, selflessness, and faith when you see the beautiful poinsettias all around. If you would like to add one to your home or office, we are always happy to help. Have a blessed holiday season!