Friday, December 28, 2018

by Julie Lavender

Though it’s not native to the United States and serves as a Christmas-season décor, the poinsettia is the spotlight of my blog this week. 

I noticed my first of the season in my neighbor’s wooden nativity scene while on my morning walk.

Native to Mexico, the shrub boasts brilliant red leaves – that most people falsely call flowers – during the holiday season. Yet, to achieve that coloration, growers have to “trick” the plant.

The plant will only display the colored bracts if it experiences complete darkness for at least twelve hours per night for ten weeks. Growers trick the plants into thinking they’re experiencing winter-time short days by placing blackout cloths over the plants or greenhouses.


Only perfect timing will encourage the plants to turn red in time for Christmas. Left alone, the red doesn’t appear until late January or February.

The poinsettia is sometimes called the “Christmas Star,” because of the star-shape formed by the brilliantly colored leaves. 


Tiny poinsettia flowers cluster together in the center of the star like a beautiful crown.

I couldn’t help but be reminded by the poinsettia that a time of darkness in our lives can often bring about a beautiful response. A learned lesson, a softened heart, a renewed relationship, a closer walk with the Lord.


God never lets our darkness be the end result. He never leaves us nor forsakes us during that time, and when we come out on the other side, it’s often with brilliance and great beauty.

Dear God, please help me feel your presence during the dark times. Remind me often of your promise, “a joyous blessing instead of mourning,” until my ashes bring forth beauty that glorifies you.    

Join the discussion! What's your favorite "Christmas-y"-nature? The poinsettia? A blue spruce? The holly bush? 

May God bless you at Christmastime and beyond, and may you enjoy all of His beautiful creations this time of year!  

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