Saturday, December 12, 2015

Meaning of Poinsettias at Christmas Happy National Poinsettia Day 2015

I was in Home Depot buying my usual assortment of beautiful Poinsettias when the sales clerk asked me.
 " A lot of people have been coming into the store to buy Poinsettias but when I ask them what is the meaning for Christmas no one could tell me."

I answered, "I know the meaning."  She got the quick version since other people were behind  me to check out.  So here is the longer version of the meaning of this heavenly flower.  December 12th happens to be National Poinsettia Day.

The Poinsettia Flower is known as the Christmas Star and Christmas Flower.  It comes from a Mexican legend from the 16th century about a child who wanted to get baby Jesus something special for Christmas.  Maria or Pepita was poor and didn't have much money.  So she gathered weeds from the Mexican countryside to place at the church alter on Christmas Eve.  The people who attended mass that night witnessed a Christmas miracle.  The weeds turned into brilliant red and green flowers.  Jesus saw the child's heart of wanting to give and turned the weeds to something magical.  In the 17th century, Franciscan priests used the Poinsettia flower in their nativity processions.

So why do we call the Christmas Flower a Poinsettia?  It's all because of a man named Joel Roberts Poinsettia.  He was the first United States ambassador to Mexico in 1825,. He loved plants and thought this beautiful flower should be shared with others. He sent the flower to South Carolina where he began growing the plants and sending them to botanical gardens in 1828.  December 12th is National Poinsettias Day because of the death of Joel on December 12th in 1851. They became known as Poinsettias in 1830 when people found out who had first brought them to America from Mexico.
The flower symbolizes good cheer and success.  It is said to bring wishes of mirth and celebration.

The beautiful flower is also known as Winter Rose, Noche Buena  and Mexican Flame Leaf.  In Turkey they call it  Atakurk's Flower, named after the founder of modern Turkey.  Even the ancient Aztecs loved the flower and considered it to be symbols of purity.  It is native to Central America so this flower has been shared with many types of people.  The Aztecs used the flower for purple dye for their clothes and cosmetics.  The milky white sap was made into a medicine to treat fevers.  Today we call it sap latex.

The shape of the Poinsettia Flower and leaves are thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus.  The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ.  The white leaves represent his purity.
What is even more special is the etching of the Poinsettia flower is on a sand dollar.  God with his infinite wisdom knew this flower would some day symbolize Christmas.  So he planned ahead and took this lowly shell to remind us all of the plan of Christ. On the other side of the sand dollar is the Easter Lily.  This flower is celebrated at Easter symbolizing Jesus resurrection.  The sand dollar also has five wholes to show his death on the cross.

  Jesus came to earth at a special time in history when God knew the timing was right.  He came to humanity as a child in a manger.  He lived a life on earth without sin.  But bore our sin on the cross so we might live with him forever.  All we have to do is believe in Jesus and follow Him.  He gives us the Holy Spirit of love, joy and peace this holiday   season.  If you open the sand dollar white doves fall out to show peace.

 The doves are in the shape of a star on the inside of the shell. Peace on earth, good will toward men.

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