Of all the plants in my life, this one is my favorite. It's my Christmas cactus and I thought it appropriate to post a few photograhs of it in its full glory on Christmas Day. Not only is it a beautiful plant, but it carries a wonderful story.
My beloved grandfather died on December 13, 1984. He always had a great vegetable garden, small but very productive. I remember as a kid going to his garden with him to "pluck tomatoes and cukes." My mother says I get my green thumb from him and I believe her.
Throughout my entire childhood I remember Pepere (French for grandfather) had this big beautiful plant that would bloom pink flowers around Christmastime every year. I always wondered how that happened since it never bloomed any other time of year.
When he died my mother inherited his Christmas cactus and when I left home in 1979, I took a few clippings of the plant with me. I planted and nurtured them. The cactus grew beautifully and survived many moves throughout the next 30 years. This plant you see here today is from those initial clippings of my Pepere's Christmas cactus.
With the exception of the first year it bloomed (which happened to be on my birthday in February the year after my grandfather died), this beautiful cactus has bloomed every Christmas without fail. Every season when I see the buds beginning to form and know that it will bloom again this year, I silently thank my grandfather. Merry Christmas to you too, Pepere.
Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. May you be surrounded by loved ones and happy times on this Blessed of Days.