Christmas possesses many meanings and traditions. But the underlining idea is we relate Christmas to love. This holiday season, spread the gift of love with the succeeding Christmas plants.

Narcissus, more commonly referred to as paper white, is the birth flower of December. In nature, it is among the first blossoms to emerge from the winter’s slumber and its unfolding is a symbolic end of the cold’s reign. 

The white represents youthful innocence, generosity, understanding, faith, new beginnings, and sincerity. The yellow in the center represents cheerfulness, mental clarity, positive thoughts, and energy. When you combine both hues, you have things that humans yearn for, laughter and love. 

To care for the plant, store it in cool place, bright indirect sunlight, and keep the soil damp but not soggy. It is also a plant that will join you for a holiday cocktail. Studies show that giving paper whites a diluted, 1-8 parts water will produce a more compact plant. You can choose between vodka, gin, or whiskey, but avoid beer and wine because they contain too much sugar.

The next plant dates to the Roman era and has vivid green and red colors. I am referring to holly. Romans send boughs of bush to their companions, brightened their homes with garlands, and tied holly clipping to celebrate the Saturnalia festival. 

This commemoration took place in December to celebrate the god of horticulture and helped transform winter into spring. The Celtic people had holly wreaths to protect them from evil spirits. In addition, Christian believed the sharp leaves represented the crown of thorns worn by Jesus and the red berries were symbolic of drops of blood He shed on the cross. It is symptomatic of the love that Jesus has for people. Holly plants do best in full sun with moderate water and in well-drained soil.  

The next plant can start a new romance with an innocent peck beneath it. It is the mistletoe. This custom started in ancient Greece because they associate the plant with fertility. In the Roman ear, enemies at war would even reconcile their differences under a mistletoe. Also, they would decorate their households and synagogues to please their gods. 

This holiday season carry a mistletoe around with you to let that special someone know you are interested in them. My favorite and one of the most delightful story is the history of the poinsettia. It originates from a Mexican folk tale and is about a girl that was too poor to present a gift to the baby Jesus. She picked a bouquet of weeds and when she laid them down; they transformed into bright red, star-shaped flowers. It makes me think that no matter what you can offer, if it is coming from your heart, it will be beautiful to another person. 

To extend the flowering life of this plant mist it regularly, keep in a warm (65-68 degrees Fahrenheit) draft-free location with at least six hours of indirect sun. Water only when the soil feels dry. Over-watering can cause the leaves falling off and wilting.

We touched on some popular Christmas plants that can spread love this holiday season. However, any plant shared is a way to spread joy and affection. Take some time to spread love. When you reach out to one person, it can cause a very large ripple effect. Happy Holidays to all and the best New Year wishes to you. Thank you for reading.

If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me at katherineclarkson2@gmail.com

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