Christmas in Florida

American holly (Ilex opaca)
 Christmas in Florida
    by Jim Moore

The visitor sadly shook his head
As he basked in the tropical sun;
"Call this Christmas?" to me he said,
"Well, not where I come from."

"Christmas needs snow and ice and cold,
And the sound of the sleighbells ring.
As for me, I can't be sold
On weather that feels like Spring.

Santa Claus in a bathing suit?
No sir, it just isn't right.
Cranberry sauce and tropical fruit
I think it's an awful fright."

"My poor misguided friend," I said,
"Your lament does not ring true.
You're mixed up by the things you read
From a myth you take your clue.

Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria)
For no snow fell on Bethlehem
On the night the star first shone.
There was no blizzard nor howling gale
That swept with a shriek and a moan.

The breezes were soft and what is more,
The night that the Christ Child came,
Hibiscus bloomed near the stable door
As Mary murmured His name.

Bougainvillea of a violet hue
Arched in a graceful bower,
Poinsettias wet with the midnight dew
Enhanced that sacred hour. *

The heavenly host in the sky
Proclaimed the birth of the King,
And rustling palms echoed the cry
As the whole earth seemed to sing.

We find here in our sun drenched land,
Untouched by the ice and snow,
That the spirit of Christmas is near at hand,
And we feel God willed it so.

*Poinsettias would NOT have been in the holy lands 2,000 years ago. They are native to Mexico.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa
AND a Greener New Year!

From your friendly FNPS bloggers,
Laurie Sheldon and Ginny Stibolt

PS. We'd love to have more guest bloggers in 2013. We know you and your chapter are doing great things. Please share your stories.


Rebecca said…
We were lucky enough to spend Christmas in Brevard County and didn't miss the Mid-Ohio Valley's snow and cold at all. The blooming aloes (probably not native, but they were spectacular) and sand marigolds and the presence of butterflies kept us well-entertained.
Anonymous said…
Can anyone out there tell me what ate my Christmas cactus? They have grown outside for years but this season something ate them down to the stub! Thanks for any information.
Do you have photos? Were there bite marks?

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