The Christmas Cactus
Janet and I have always done Christmas big. I mean, we always decorate to the hilt and throughout our marriage, we have tried most of the traditions associated with the season. When we were first married, we purchased a Christmas cactus, a small green plant that was supposed to bloom each year during the month of December. As I recall, we bought it at Amling’s in Hinsdale, IL and it was just beginning to bloom. I don’t know if we didn’t water it correctly or what, but the blooms fell off and that was the end of that. We kept it until the next year, but it never bloomed again and both of us lost faith in the idea of ever having a Christmas cactus.
Several times throughout our early marriage we made the decision to try a cactus again, but you wouldn’t believe all the bad luck we had with them. Neither Janet nor I seemed to have the touch it takes to get them to bloom. Anyway, about 15 years ago, our dear friend Sue was dividing up her Christmas cactus because it was so large. In fact, she kept it in the sunroom off the kitchen of her home and the thing was humongous – and old – I mean like scores of years old. Janet thinks that now it could be close to 100 years old.
So here we were, with this really old Christmas cactus, a legacy plant in Sue’s family, and we have never successfully had one in all our married life. But Sue assured us things would be okay. The plant still sits in our master bedroom, facing south, and apparently it likes the exposure. Because, sure enough, every holiday season for the past 15 years, that plant has been filled with magnificent blooms and is simply gorgeous to behold. The reason that I am mentioning this is that last week, we put up the decorations and sure enough, there were blooms on the cactus. This past week, the progress of the plant is amazing.
I can hardly wait to see how many blossoms will be there each morning. The whole month of December will be filled with remembrances of the years that we tried to grow these plants before Sue came to our rescue. And the plant is so large now that no other cactus will ever make the grade. We’ve been spoiled forever. In addition to this plant, we also enjoy growing paper-white narcissus, amaryllis, and other flowers of the season – sometimes even hyacinths. The trouble is that we grow more plants indoors during the winter than we do outdoors in the summer. I never fail to be amazed by nature and the miracle of things growing.
The verse for tonight reflects the memories we have of the years of our holiday traditions as well as the awesome power of God in His creation. From Psalm 143:5, we are told, “I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” My encouragement this evening is to enjoy the season and look for the evidences of God in the everyday things that you do. My prayer is that you will experience God in new and miraculous ways this Christmas. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…