It seems paradoxical that the quintessential Christmas plant comes to North America from the tropics. Yes, the poinsettia’s heat and vivid color originate in Mexico. The cheerful flowers so delighted Joel Roberts Poinsett, first United States Minister to Mexico, that he introduced it here in 1825, and it has reigned ever since as THE Christmas flower.
A dinner guest brought us this blooming specimen a few days before Christmas. I’m glad I caught its splendor on the camera right away, because the combination of a chilly house and my own notorious black thumb has proved lethal. Alas, as of this morning, Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, this particular poinsettia is no more. It exists only as a happy memory.
But life consists in great part of memories, hopefully of mostly happy ones. And so, my friends, I wish you all many happy memories of the season, however you celebrate the Season of Return of the Light — as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or as you like it. May your memories be colorful and cheerful and lovely, and may they flourish long in the treasure chambers of your hearts.