I love Christmas--known around my house as the Festival of Poinsettia Murder. It’s a ritual I indulge in every year. What says Merry Christmas better than a spray of bare, wilted stems and a blanket of cast-off red petals covering the floor in a crunchy carpet?
To my way of thinking it’s more manslaughter than murder anyway. It’s not like I plan the death like I plan the menu for Christmas dinner, which is an unsettling, but comforting, thought. My Christmas dinner, while not gourmet fare in scope or intent, might make for happy times and give the old stretchy pants a workout, but does not often leave bodies in its wake. My bent toward Poinsettiacide is a well-known, but lesser-appreciated talent.
So if it’s the rituals that make the holiday season important and cement the ties that bind into place, I owe it to my family to kill the holiday Poinsettia.
So this season will see all my familiar and comforting rituals: the manger scene whose assembled cast expands daily to include snowmen, stray wisemen and an occasional ox or ass from long lost nativity sets, and at least one zombie action figure; the Christmas tree decorated around the bottom with an assortment of bells and wind chimes to let me know when the kitties have staged a daring raid on the festive gift bags, and a crumpled Poinsettia that holds my hopes and dreams that this will be the year that Santa finally delivers a green thumb.
Because once the wrapping paper lies in mangled piles and Christmas lights wind themselves back into tangled knots, hope is what Christmas is all about.