white chrysanthemums of Christmas Eve
The word "chrysanthemum" comes from the Greek words
meaning "golden flower," but a German legend refers to
another of the many colors of chrysanthemums.
One cold, snowy Christmas Eve in Germany's Black Forest, a peasant
family was sitting down to a meager supper when they heard a wailing.
At first they thought it was the wind. But upon hearing the sound
repeatedly, they opened the door and found a beggar. They ushered in
the poor man who was blue with cold, wrapped him in blankets, and
shared their food.
Instantly, the blankets were shed, revealing a man in shining white
clothing with a halo around his head. Proclaiming himself the Christ
Child he fled. The next morning, outside the door where he had stood,
were two white chrysanthemums. Today, many Germans bring white
chrysanthemums into their homes on Christmas Eve, believing that by
doing so they are sheltering the Christ Child.