Poinsettias, Christmas Cactus, Cyclamen—since I began working in the greenhouse at The Lands at Hillside Farms, I have learned a lot about these beautiful flowers that bloom in Winter, adding rich color to the otherwise rather dreary months.
Curious as to why we associate them so closely with Christmas, I did a little research on these beauties. Setting legends aside, I found some interesting qualities in these plants that can remind us of the true reason for the celebrations of the season—Jesus!
The most popular Christmas flower in the United States is the Poinsettia. The star shape of the leaves is reminiscent of the star that stood over the Christ Child, leading the magi to the place where Christ was born. (Matthew 2:1-10) The poinsettias rich, blood-red color reminds us of the blood Jesus shed as He died on the cross to save us from our sins. (1 John 1:7b)
In Europe, Cyclamen hold top billing at Christmas. Attractive, easy-care houseplants, they will flower continuously throughout the winter months. Their intense colors brighten the lackluster days of Winter, just as faith in God fosters hope in our hearts amid bleak situations. (Romans 15:13) The backswept blossoms resemble a gathering of tiny butterflies, a symbol of the new life we receive when we give our lives over to the Christ-child, born to be our Savior. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The Christmas Cactus produces beautiful pink and red blooms atop green spikey stems. Their ever-present green color symbolizes the eternal life Jesus offers.(1 John 5:11-13)
Like most succulents, Christmas Cactus have adapted to dry, arid climates, reminding us that God can bring good even from times in our lives that prick our souls and wither our spirits. (Romans 8:28)
I extend a challenge to you. As you enjoy the flowers of the Christmas season, look for clues to link them to the best gift any of us could ever receive—Christ, the Savior!
©2016 Pamela D. Williams