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December 9, 2010

Signs of the Season

It’s almost a given that at some point, a poinsettia will be seen or added to your holiday. Just as other Christmas symbols like Baby Jesus, Santa, Candy Canes and Snowmen, the bold poinsettia is a much desired symbol of the season.

There’s many wonderful reasons to want to welcome this popular potted plant into your home. With minimal care, it will go the distance from the beginning of the season to when you ring in the New Year and far beyond. The red “petals” of its star-shaped flowers are actually long-lasting bracts, or modified leaves, that don’t soon wither the way ordinary blossoms do.

The flower's beauty and longevity are worthy attributes, but there’s another aspect to the overwhelming popularity of this plant: Clever marketing by a single family of horticultural entrepreneurs firmly established this species as an icon of the holiday. Did you think that an exotic plant living in obscurity until the 19th century could become an icon of Christmas past, present and in the future, all on its own?

The legend of this amazing flower comes from Mexico.  It tells of two children, a boy and girl who want to present a gift to the Baby Jesus in the manger scene in the town village church.  Each year the children would look forward to the town's Christmas festival. Many times there was never enough money to buy presents to bring to the baby Jesus and so this year they set out to town to join in the festivities very sadden.  They wished with all of their hearts to lay something before the baby Jesus just as the wise men did so many years ago, but they came empty handed.

Another year was almost over and it was now another Christmas season.  Christmas Eve was now at hand and the young children set out to attend the service at their church.  On the way they saw some weeds growing along the road and knowing that they had nothing else to give, their little hands picked the best weeds that they could find.  This would be their gift for Baby Jesus!  When they were seen bye the local boys and girls they were teased and taunted.  They did not care for they knew that they gave all that they could, but also gave with their heart.  It is said that once these two children placed the green plants around the manger scene, that miraculously, the green top leaves turned to brilliant jeweled red petals, and the manger scene was surrounded bye beautiful star-like flowers and so we see them today.

This is a wonderful legend and really does give this amazing flower a new place in my family Christmas  tradition.  Having a Poinsettia present in our home just comes naturally each year , but was always purchased  because of it's association to the Christmas Season and not because of this touching story your read here today.

A story of a profound need to give and to extend this gift from all that one has to offer.  Better still, of the acceptance of such a gift, one that looked like mear Refuse in the community's eyes, but to an Almighty God, a gift of gratitude and thanksgiving. So in return and acknowledgement of such a tender and heartfelt offering, the genuineness of the offering made this gift become a treasure and beauty for all to see.

Wow!  What a reminder that the season isn't about the boxes and bows, the high tech equipment, the food that we eat even when we dont' need to, but about GIVING!  True and honest giving! Not with all that we want to give, but truly giving with all of our hearts, and only out of our means and not what will be future debt.  We strive and most are guilty of trying to out give, but all that really matters is that you give what you can and with a cheerful heart.  Maybe this Christmas you can make that giving to be of something that is not tangible or materialistic, but of your time, your patience, or maybe just the kindness of sharing a hug or smile, or when you pass someone on the street who looks cold and needs some gloves, give them yours. I don't know about you, but for us, we often go through our belongings and make sure to pass them along to those in need.  Not things that are worn out or no good, but really gently used items, things that will truly make a difference.  Maybe there is someone you know who will not have a Christmas meal this year, or a neighbor who is lonely!  Why not extend that hand of giving and set an extra setting at your table, or make up another plate, wrap it and take it to someone who maybe ill or shut-in!  I know there are so many areas that we could reach out to others, but in a world where we all can get so caught up in ourselves, we must stop so that we really can see those who feel like we have stopped looking!  I challenge you to make a difference, great or small, in the lives of someone in need this Christmas. 

In keeping with my story of the Poinsettia, I want to share a card that I made using one of the Techniques I learned at Holiday Thinking Inking.  I sooooo love how this card turned out.  This card is using the Paint Resist technique, one of my favorite.  I used the ever beautiful digital image of  "Beauty of the Season" of Deedee's Digis Store.  I actually went into my editing program and enlarged it to a desirable size and printed it out on watercolour paper.  It was then coloured with Ranger Distress Inks, and stamped with the Hero Arts "Friends Def." and then I added Liquid Pearl to give it some shine.  I also added Glossy Accents to the gems to give the jewels some more dimension.  The card back ground was stamped using the Hero Arts stamp called "Bold Flourish" and I so love how it turned out on this colour of cardstock.  Yes, I know that the colours are not traditional colours but that flower is just amazing.  The added touch of outlining the flower with Liquid Pearls is a little tip I learned from Jennifer McQuire!  You can do it with a Bisque colour Liquid Pearls also, but I did it with cream and just brushed over top with some watered down walnut ink.

I hope that you are all getting things prepared for this very exciting season and that you make this Christmas one that is filled with much laughter, fun & many great memories.  Don't forget to take loads of pictures. Lol!

All the best my blogging friends!

Hugs & Christmas Blessings


Virginia L. said...

Congrats on your blog post win!! Some new HA stamps are comiung YOU way!YAY!!!! Yes, Virginia....there is a Santa Clause....Yes, Dana, you are a good girl and therefore, you will get new Hero Arts stamps.

Anonymous said...

Oh Dana, what an incredible story! Thanks so much for sharing this, sweetie! We all need this reminder this time of year, I think. Your card is just plain gorgeous -- wow! What a neat technique, and if you hadn't have said it was one of my images, I wouldn't have recognized it -- LOL! It is just totally transformed the way you used it.

Sandy said...

This card is SOOOO beautiful! So much detail! The colors are beautiful together and it just has so much warmth to it. I think you did an amazing job!

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All the contents of this blog including but not limited to designs, concepts, and photographs are COPYRIGHT 2009-2014 Dana Colbourne. I have put a lot of work in these creations and would appreciate that you use them for inspiration and enjoyment. They are for personal use only and they are not to be copied or used for publications or contest. Thanks for stopping by and supporting me on this fun journey!