Do you know the Legend of the Poinsettia?

The one thing that always heralds the arrival of the festive season for me is when we start receiving Poinsettias.   Poinsettias are prefect for bringing Christmas into your home with their long lasting red bracts that work great in any décor setting.  They also make the ideal living gift for that person that you never know what to get for Christmas. This enchanting legend of the poinsettia dates back several centuries, to a Christmas Eve in Mexico when a little girl named Pepita had no gift to present to the Christ child at Christmas Eve Service.

As Pepita walked slowly to the chapel with her cousin Pedro, her heart was filled with sadness rather than joy. I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes,” said Pedro consolingly.

Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet. Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness of her offering. She fought back a tear as she entered the small village chapel.

As she approached the altar, she remembered Pedro’s kind words: “Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes.” She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes.

From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena “Flowers of the Holy Night” for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season. We now refer to this plant as the poinsettia.

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