The merchants are hawking their wares online or in the brick-and-mortar stores and hoping to grab your attention. I opened my inbox this afternoon to find at least 50 “last chance” e-mails for great deals and free shipping guaranteed to arrive before Christmas.
So, yeah – the colors of the season are truly red and green because since Gray Thursday or Black Friday you’re either in the red or lost all your green to holiday shopping.
Well today is Super Saturday – your last best bet to make out like a bandit as you scoop up bargains and finish up the rest of that pesky Christmas shopping. If you haven’t got it done by now, you might end up standing in line at Walgreens for a Whitman’s Sampler and a 4-inch poinsettia on Christmas Day morning.
Speaking of poinsettias, there is nothing as colorful and brilliant red as a beautiful and cheerful poinsettia. Growing up I only remember them having crimson-colored leaves and taking a special honor in the living room near the Christmas tree. Now they come in pink and white and hybrid tones, some with sparkles, some plain. I’ve even seen them with blue leaves.
My mother and grandmother had a knack for keeping poinsettias alive long after the holiday – they did not lose their leaves and look scrawny or straggly, but still looked vibrant, cheering up the house during the long Winter season.
My grandmother had a back kitchen and it was surrounded by large windows. It was a perfect spot for houseplants as she had a wide window ledge and they thrived there. She put her annual Christmas poinsettia there after she removed it from the dining room table after the holidays. It was still beautiful long into the Summer months. She had one of the original Singer treadle sewing machines that she kept back there. It was long unused, and its sole purpose was to display her massive Christmas cactus. That plant was decades old and she gave it alot of TLC and it had as many as 100 blooms during the holiday season. She owed its beauty to sprinkling smashed-up eggshells, and opening up her teabags and burying the contents deep into the soil. Hmmmm. She was so proud of that plant that she had pictures of it that she carried around in her purse in a little brag book photo album. Oh yes, my photo was tucked in there as well, so friends could see her little granddaughter, along with that beautiful big plant.
Obviously I never inherited my indoor gardening genes from my ancestors since my poinsettia resembled the sad little plant at the beginning of “Poinsettia Percy” that little ditty by Elmo and Patsy.
In fact, I’ve never been lucky keeping poinsettias long after receiving one. Their sandy soil seems to beg for more water, and so glug, glug, glug I accommodate it, then next thing I know, water is seeping up and over the top of the soil or out the hole in the bottom. A few choice words are uttered, then the poor poinsettia, through no fault of its own, gets relegated somewhere to drain and not make a mess. Two days later it is wilted and putrid looking as it dies a slow death.
Now, I have a silk poinsettia … it looks the same from Day 1 and I only have to dust it.