The family that does “Two Weeks in Costa Rica” blog/newsletter has an article about what Ticos do during the holidays which is also “Summer Vacation” from school for all ages with graduations the middle of December and the start of new school year in February. Thus lots of “family vacations” during this time, especially the week between Christmas and New Years when many businesses and factories, etc are closed. The beaches and mountain lodges are full of Ticos that week! Everything is already festive by December 1 with many decorations up and special meal preparations started. Read about it in the Two Weeks guy’s article:
2020 Monkeying Around on Christmas Eve at Arenal Observatory where I will be again next Christmas or 2022. Good lodges like this one are booked solid for Christmas a year ahead. I just made my ’22 reservations.
People around the world buy these interesting tropical plants as an indoor natural Christmas decoration. I bought two last year and after Christmas decided to plant them in my garden so I would have my own outdoor Christmas Poinsettia this year since they are native to Central America. And surely you know that they do not have a flower but the top layer of leaves turn red around Christmas. Well, I kept watching mine in the garden as it got closer to December and now Christmas and MINE STILL HAVE NOT TURNED RED!
“The Poinsettia is a light sensitive plant. When you deprive the plant in its full leafing stage of light, the only chlorophyll used to turn the leaves green cannot be produced. As a result of this total darkness and lack of light, the only color that will be produced is red. This is called photoperiodism.”
~from the internet
I’ve seen red ones in other gardens here but this quote makes it sounds like I needed to cover them from the sun in my garden to get red. Then by reading further online in this article on How Poinsettias Turn Red, I learned that the two I bought from the supermarket last year are hybridized by nurseries as indoor plants and yes would have turned red if I had given then weeks of darkness. BUT, the ones in other gardens here that bloom are “wild poinsettias” which have somehow developed a way to turn their leaves red to attract pollinators. Wow! Nature is amazing and interesting! So . . . if I want them blooming in my garden, I need to get wild ones! 🙂 Oh well, I tried! 🙂
Now, to get my red, I bought two new ones again this year, one little and one bigger one and I now have Christmas red inside my house, just not in the garden! 🙂 But most importantly I’m trying to “live Christmas every day!” 🙂 And hope you are able to do that too! Be Merry!
“Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.”
Last year after Christmas I took the potted Poinsettia I had had inside and planted it in my garden. When I recently asked my gardeners to “thin out” my garden, well . . . they really thinned it out including the removal of my poinsettia which was not doing well anyway.
So today I looked for another poinsettia in town and found only one little plant store that had any and they were expensive, but I got two anyway. They add to the “Christmas Spirit” around my house and I already had in mind putting them immediately in my garden, which I did. Well, the rain seems to have stopped (we might get 1 or 2 more) and the wind has started blowing (think March in the states). The petals or really leaves on the poinsettia are be thrashed by the wind and already look weathered.
Oh well, I meant well and in my thinned out garden there is not much color now, so they have been added to my two other now-blooming red flowers: Red Ginger and Torch Ginger or in Costa Rica El bastón de emperador. So maybe all this red in my gardens is my Christmas color for this year! 🙂
The red of the toyshops on a dark winter’s afternoon, Of Father Christmas and the robin’s breast? Or green? Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house, dark shadow of summer in leafless winter? One might plainly add a romance of white, fields of frost and snow; thus white, green, red- reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle. But many will say that the significant colour is gold, gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer, For the true colour of Christmas is Black. Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind, black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight.
There are more than these two trees at City Mall Alajuela, but these are a sample of how into Christmas people are here. Every store is of course decorated better than the others and people are starting to decorate their homes. Christmas is in the air and Christmas Carols playing everywhere, more in English than in Spanish! In Atenas our Christmas Art Festival is 14-16 December with the Festival of Lights Parade the evening of 16th. It’s really a big deal!
Merry Christmas from my Terrace where I added Poinsettias to a potted palm. A cell phone selfie.
And the poinsettias, well, they grow in some people’s yards! Year around! And most of the people are loving and Christ-like year around. Always Christmas! And I have been here a full year on Christmas Eve! It is home now! Pura Vida!
AND TONIGHT I DID WHAT I WAS TOO SICK TO DO LAST CHRISTMAS EVE! I went to the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and Lord’s Supper at Iglesia Biblica:
It started with some from the Spanish congregation singing two Christmas Songs in Spanish. Beautiful! Then with the help of screens, we sang Christmas Carols, most with one verse in English & repeated in Spanish. Nice! In between the carols the English pastor read portions of the Christmas story from Luke.
We ended with candle-lighting and singing of Silent Night. Then to fellowship hall for punch and Christmas Cookies plus visiting. I decided tonight to start attending regularly again, even though I still don’t care for praise bands or all the Wednesday night Bible studies (too complicated to explain). But I need the Christian fellowship!
And now that I am home it is noisy with Christmas eve celebrations around town. There are two competing concerts or singers plus fireworks. And last night it was a soccer match celebration. These are partying people here! Any excuse will work for a party! 🙂
I Wish You A Happy Christmas!
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! ‘Maybe Christmas’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store… Maybe Christmas perhaps… means a little bit more!'” – Dr. Seuss