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Christmas countdown

December 22, 2017
By H.I. JEAN SHIELDS ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

We have three more days until Christmas, Dec. 25, 2017 - are we ready? A lot of shopping, wrapping, banking, holiday festivities, plus decorating and baking around the homestead.

Making a list and checking it twice is the norm for this season.

I have stopped buying "one more" poinsettia for this year, however I have cut a few single blooms from my earliest buys. I cannot resist cutting a single colored leaf, with a short stem and making small bouquets in little vases, without any water.

The trick is, as soon as you cut the stem and the sap appears, you sear the cut with a match flame, carefully of course. I do this over the sink in which I have placed an aluminum pan with a little bit of water in the bottom, to drown any stray flame or hot match ash.

Not clumsy, but I am telling you that as you become interested in searing, with that flame you will suddenly be reminded that you are holding something hot and burning.

Yes, you could use a long candle, but that is messy and drops wax in many places, and a cigarette lighter is more like a torch in this deal.

Once it is singed tight, you will know and can place it in a vase and never add any messy water. The colorful flower will last for at least a week. You may want to make some stems longer than others to make a pleasing arrangement. I do like to have a nice large single flower for the bedside table. You may have a dinner party and have a row of single flowers each in their own little container. You might even use a Christmas tea cup.

We all love the English Christmas carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas." How many of us know the interesting history of this creation from 1780?

The actual countdown starts Dec. 25 and ends on the 12th day, considered the Epiphany, in Bethlehem. This is celebrated as a religious event, however many have a merry time trying to remember the daily increasing number of gifts that may be given each day.

The modern world will not be giving away "Nine Ladies Dancing," "Ten Lords A-Leaping" or "Eleven Pipers Piping," however it is a merry song and entertaining. This ancient song may well bring to mind why we even have a Christmas season to celebrate.

Yes, I know all the complaints of Santa and toys, marketing gone wild and disgruntled people. I do not remember anywhere in the Bible that said that God threw stones or anything at those who did not believe him, rather he taught peace and love for all.

Try making the season happy and peaceful as you scurry about - say Merry Christmas, smile and be patient with others. Surely if you are reading this you can remember you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Simple, yes, but it can work.

Do not waste time trying to change past stories and history.

Please take the time to look up the history of "The 12 Days Of Christmas" very interesting,

Happy Holidays till we meet again!

H.I. Jean Shields is Past President of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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