ิhe Legend of the
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.
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!
Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect
LEGEND OF "SMALL PINE"
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.