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ิhe Legend of the Poinsettia

A charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked slowly to the chapel with her cousin Pedro, her heart was filled with sadness rather than joy.

Poinsettia , Euphorbia pulcherrima

"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 alter, 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, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season.

Today, the common name for this plant is the poinsettia!


Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect


Long, long ago, in a land far away, lived a perfect little tree named Small Pine. Small Pine hoped to maintain its perfect form so it would be selected by the Queen as her Christmas tree. But as the warmhearted little tree gave shelter to birds, rabbits, and deer n the forest, its branches became damaged. Fortunately, the Queen had a different idea of perfection. The Queen, the Queen's family and all the villagers said that Small Pine was the finest Christmas tree yet. For in looking at its drooping, nibbled branches, they saw the protecting arm of a father or the comforting lap of a mother. And some, like the wise Queen, saw the love of Christ expressed on earth. So if you walk among evergreens today, you will find, along with rabbits, birds and other happy living things, many trees like Small Pine. You will see a drooping limb which gives cover, a gap offering a warm resting place, or branches ragged from feeding hungry animals. For, as have many of us, the trees have learned that living for the sake of others makes us most beautiful in the eyes of God.






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