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Christmas tends toward the hyper side for most of us, at least sometime during the holiday. Today was a day of beautiful shadow for me.

Our neighbor kindly gave us a coupon for a free poinsettia from one of our local nurseries. My spouse, ever erranding, picked ours up. When he came home I was upstairs working qupoinsettia ietly and contentedly mental trying on house ideas. When he came up the stairs he was bearing the most beautiful red Christmas poinsettia. It had been gifted to us twice. First by our neighbor who brought us the coupon and second by the nursery.

It was the very opposite of the tinsel and lights. It was unexpected. It was given with kindness and it was beautiful. It was quiet. I was so taken by its beauty, and the play of shadow where the green and red came together I decided to make tonight’s post about the flower.

The photo I selected has deep shadow that holds great mystery. The leaves show red and they show green but the variation of their colors shapoinsettiadows  the variations in us and our response to the holiday from the holy night to the commercial. The poinsettia showed me from its light and its shadow that the meaning of Christmas is the meaning of gifts. It is literally the meaning. All of the quiet, all of the beautiful, all of the added stress among family and friends, all of of the loneliness, all of the memories of betrayal, and all of the frenetic parts of Christmas are about the meaning of gift. The gift is the intention of putting a small part of your heart into the care of another in the hope and belief that the gift, from the most grand to the smallest gesture, religious or secular, will grow and bring peace to others, to your self and to the world.poinsettia