A native Mexican plant, the poinsettia, was named after Joel R. Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who brought the plant to America in 1828. Poinsettias were likely used by Mexican Franciscans in their 17th century Christmas celebrations. One legend has it that a young Mexican boy, on his way to visit the village Nativity scene, realized he had no gift for the Christ child. He gathered pretty green branches from along the road and brought them to the church. Though the other children mocked him, when the leaves were laid at the manger, a beautiful star-shaped, red flower appeared on each branch.
The bright red petals, often mistaken for flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant that transform from green to red as the days get shorter. The plants need darkness from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. starting Oct. 1 and continuing until color shows around early to mid-December. They turn red just in time for the Christmas season as even nature celebrates the birth of Christ!!
So how do we transform this to make it a reminder of the birth of Jesus Christ?
When you look at your poinsettia, think about Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Let the poinsettia’s transformation of green leaves to scarlet remind you of our transformation from sinner to child of God because of the coming of the Christ Child. Let the red color remind you of His blood He shed for us.