Poinsettias reflect meaning of the seasonNothing brings in the Christmas season quite as well as Christmas trees and poinsettias. They are the true things that dominate the colors of red and green that tend to make up the traditional holiday décor. In the past five to 10 years, these traditional colors have had some competition with some of the more modern color decorations to match people’s homes and preferences. This is also true with the poinsettia.
By: John Zvirovski , The Jamestown Sun
Nothing brings in the Christmas season quite as well as Christmas trees and poinsettias. They are the true things that dominate the colors of red and green that tend to make up the traditional holiday décor. In the past five to 10 years, these traditional colors have had some competition with some of the more modern color decorations to match people’s homes and preferences. This is also true with the poinsettia.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend I noticed many florists sold the newer gold and orange varieties of poinsettia. They are actually white poinsettias that have been dyed different colors through flower-safe sprays. Some are even spritzed with a light spray of glitter to give them a more festive look.
As the season progresses, you will also begin to notice poinsettias in the colors of lavender, cranberry, light and royal blue, plum and deep purple. Typically these brilliant colored plants are called the “Sugar Plum” poinsettias.
Within the last decade, there has been creation of the Winter Rose poinsettia, which has smaller flower bracts that are ruffled and resemble an open rose. They come in shades of red, pink and white and are quite dynamic compared to the traditional plant. If you are looking for something different in your decorating scheme, this just may be the variety for you.
Although these different styles are interesting to satiate your own personal tastes, the red poinsettia always wins over all the rest. More than 75 percent of the poinsettias sold during the holidays are red. This will always be the mainstay of the Christmas season as they are used in homes, offices, and churches to top off their decorating with the perfect accent.
The poinsettia is a native of Mexico and can grow anywhere from 1 foot to 16 feet in height. Their blooms are encouraged by cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours. Typically when one of these plants gets eight hours or less of light per day, it forces the plant into the bloom period. Indoor, a spare room that is cool and receives no artificial light is the best place to force your own plant into repeat blooms year after year.
Many people mistake the brightly-colored leaves of the poinsettia to be the flowers, but these colored leaves are only the leaf bracts that surround the dainty little yellow flowers that bloom in the center. A fresh poinsettia is one that has yellow blooms in the center that are just opening over the ones that have faded or begun to shrivel. Always choose a plant that is full of leaves with fresh flowers in the center. A wilted plant will only drop its leaves soon after purchasing and will soon look like a Charlie Brown plant. Avoid these types of purchases, unless that is the look you are seeking.
Folklore indicates that the poinsettia appeared when a poor girl in Mexico wanted to honor the birth of Christ but could not afford anything. By the direction of the angels, she picked some weeds along the roadside and placed them in front of the altar at the church. From the weeds appeared a red star-like flower that became the poinsettia. The shape of the flower itself is said to represent the Star of Bethlehem and the color of red represents the sacrificial blood of Christ during the crucifixion. In Mexico this plant is still referred to as the Flower of the Holy Night.
If you would like to make sure your holidays are complete this season, acquire a poinsettia to display in your home. With the proper care, you can nurture the same plant year after year with new blooms each and every season.
In our illusion that Christmas is just a season to acquire more and more material possessions while pushing people through the registers, it would do us all some good to remember the lore of the poinsettia and the story of the poor girl. Instead of trying to top last year’s gifts with something more expensive, why not try things that don’t cost anything. Visit a friend for an evening or visit someone in the nursing home who may not have anyone with whom to spend a happy moment. Spend time and laughter with your family or your soul mate and enjoy some of the best that there is in life.
It doesn’t matter how affluent you are or how poor you may feel, we all have these attributes to make a difference in someone’s life by just spending some time together to visit and enjoy each other’s special qualities that keep us content in life. You never know when these visits will change someone’s life in a huge way down the road or just make his or her day better for the time that was spent.
Bring a poinsettia along with you on your visit as a small gift and you will have all you will ever need to enjoy a simple, but very meaningful Christmas in the way it was intended. Begin this holiday season outright by appreciating the people and things that are already in your life and make the best of them. Enjoy this holiday season and feel the true spirit of the season.