Christmas Past

The fascinating stories behind your favorite Christmas traditions

Backstory — Poinsettias


According to legend, a little girl named Pepita saw her humble nativity offering of roadside weeds miraculously transform into bright red flowers on Christmas eve. For generations, the legend was part of the Christmas celebration for many communities in Mexico. And that’s where it could have stayed, if it weren’t for a man named Poinset. The story of how the poinsettia came to America and how they came to be so ubiquitous at Christmas, has some strange twists and turns in it. Ones that involve a kidnapping, possibly a murder, international diplomacy, and a good old fashioned American success story.

Thanks to Mark Schmeller for appearing in this episode.

Be sure to check out the “Definitive Directory of Christmas Podcasts

Music in this episode

  • Wish Background  — Kevin MacLeod via Incompetech
  • Drops of Earth — Aakash Gandhi via YouTube Audio Library
  • Surface Tension 1 — Podington Bear via Free Music Archive
  • Ranch Hand — Blue Dot Sessions via Free Music Archive
  • Greensleves — Don Maue, shared directly by the artist
  • Dimlight — Podington Bear via Free Music Archive

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