Posted by on Dec 2, 2011 in Photographs, Sacred Plants | 0 comments

Christmas Eve, 1963.

Mom rounded up all five of us kids for midnight Mass. Dressed in our Sunday best, and filled with admonishments to remain as quiet as possible, we excitedly walked into the rapidly filling church. The organ played softly as Mom held tightly to the hands of the two youngest, squirming boys.

As was Mom’s habit, we sat in the first empty row as close to the altar as possible. A light shining on the alter immediately drew my eyes to the nativity scene just below it.  Around the crèche were what seemed like a million, bright-red poinsettias. Nestled within that profusion of red was the Holy Family.

“Where’s the Baby Jesus?” I asked in the stage whisper of a child.

“Shhh, you’ll see soon,” Mom replied.

After Mass, we trooped up to the nativity scene. The youngest made a dash for the Baby Jesus, but Mom grabbed his foot before he scooted fully through the altar rails. With little prompting from my mother, I knelt down to offer thanks to Him for coming to this world.

To this day, whenever I see poinsettias, I am instantly transported to that beloved childhood memory and my heart is filled with joy.


~Cathy Chapman~




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