Stop...Look...Listen...orders us to “Take Time to Smell the Roses”
...along Life's pathway! Often, being busy, we miss
the Beauty, the spiritual arousing and the experience of inner serenity!
It is true that following September's Labour Day and first day of Autumn...October's Thanksgiving Day and Hallowe'en...November's Remembrance Day and America's Thanksgiving...we approach the apex of the year ~ Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Awaiting my physio-therapy appointment yesterday,
I mused about the Rapture of Christmas:
Colourful decorations of wreaths, lanterns, stars and cedar boughs along the streets...Christmas music within the stores...and brilliantly lit evergreens on residential lawns.
Concerts to attend at elementary and high schools...choir voices presenting The Messiah...performances on stage of The Nutcracker.
Craft shows at bazaars, churches, and charity events...all venues displaying “gift items” for Christmas and family presentations...many uniquely crafted and often “one-of-a-kind.”
Bell-ringing by Salvation Army personnel standing hours in the cold outside mall stores...with invitations to contribute to their worthwhile causes. (this is the Best of Charities to which one can invest...with the bulk of the $$$ going to the designated needs).
Christmas parties for Business Associates; then the preparation for Family Dinner Celebrations with shopping and hanging of the mistletoe...the garlanded Christmas tree with baubles and tinsel.
On my apartment door hangs a silvery wreath tied fancifully with a big blue ribbon. It also serves as my wintery love and acceptance of frosts, icicles and the blankets of snow on properties in cities, towns and the windswept countrysides. Often there are horse-drawn wagon or sleigh rides to enjoy the cold winter’s day.
My miniature evergreen is dressed with pink-ribbon-tied bows...a burgundy satin ribbon twirls from from the top to bottom...tiny ornaments of gold adorn a few branches...and a necklace of pearls winds itself through the branches among several pine cones. Perching on a branch near the top of the tree is a gorgeous blue peacock with long wide-spread flowing tail…also a glittery white dove ~ the symbol of peace. What more could I ask?
My personal gift contribution to family and friends this year is something I craft while watching TV or listening to inspiring CD music. It's a kit of 30 miniature stocking-shaped ornaments cross-stitch needled with 2 strands of embroidery floss. Each when completed, measuring 3 inches by 2 ½ inches backed on red felt...with a narrow ribbon loop at the top, each can be hung on Christmas tree, door knob or wall picture. These “vignettes” vary with patterns of ...cardinal, teddy bears, candy-cane-house, ice skates, reindeer, a sleighing child, poinsettias, an evergreen wreath...an angel, snowmen and Santa...others with stars and Christmas Greetings.
A high-light this season on December 2 was an organ recital in The Great Hall at Casa Loma in Toronto by renowned Dave Wickerham from Crystal Falls, Michigan. A brilliant musician, he fully mastered the 1925-built ivory Wurlitzer organ and bench seat (previously in Maple Leaf Gardens). His music was personally and uniquely arranged paying great tribute to Christmas, Father Winter and even some ragtime. Invited by my friend, Rita, the concert truly uplifted my spirits to an exhilarating high!
My Christmas Angel…was a casual meeting in late November of a woman (unknown) outside a small shopping area. Randomly, I stopped…Hellos exchanged and she enquired about “my walking cane embellished with colourful butterflies.” I told her of my inflicted osteo-arthritic back…she concurred indicating that she too had such problems that were now considerably relieved. Due to costs for physiotherapy sessions (which I badly needed)..she then advised me of Brant Physiotherapy at Mount Royal Plaza…and that all her sessions were covered by OHIP. Amazing News!!! I contacted this facility…had a “No Obligation” appointment. With a referral from my doctor, I was accepted for a series of 12 sessions. Presents given, at whatever season, need not be costly or materialistic. This unknown Angel gave me a treasured gift!
Our Christmas Flowering Plant ~ The Poinsettia
Poinsettias originally grew in Mexico...where they were known as the Flower of the Holy Night. As a shrub or small tree, poinsettias also grow in a few countries of Central America. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico who introduced the plant to United States in 1825. Today, there are over 100 cultured varieties of Poinsettias!
Legend of the Poinsettia
In the story, there is a brother and sister known as Pablo and Maria. They were very poor but loved the Christmas festival that came around each year. Before entering the church, they stopped and picked up some weeds from the ground to offer to the baby Jesus...even though they knew they would be made fun of. When presenting “their flowers”, they immediately bloomed into bright red leafy flowers.
(in The Hamilton Spectator today) stated that more than 200 people came to the third annual poinsettia open house at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre last week. Poinsettias are Ontario’s top flowering pot crop. The flower is actually the centre called a cyathia. “We grow five million poinsettias a year for Christmas. Four million for us and one million for U.S. At Vineland this year we are testing 109 varieties including 34 new ones.” The Open House votes praised “Glace as the best White…Charon Red as the best red…Mars Pink as the best pink. People voted Ice Punch as the best novelty.
Merle Baird-Kerr … written December 5, 2013
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