Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ornaments - Day 15

I'm bearing Merry Christmas greetings to each of you today!

These little bears are a Hallmark series. I think they are sweet little bears. Each one is fully jointed and bears a special Christmas gift.

Bearing the gift of mistletoe.
I see a lot of mistletoe in the trees around my house, and really wish I had a way of getting some down. I haven't had any real mistletoe in a long time. I remember when the Boy Scout troops used to stand in front of the discount stores and sell it. The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases. It may remain hanging through the year, often to preserve the house from lightning or fire, until it was replaced the following Christmas Eve.

Bearing the gift of poinsettias.
Did you know that the yellow center of a poinsettia plant is actually the flower? The colored bracts - which are most often red but can be orange, pale green, cream, pink, white or marbled - are actually leaves. Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They are named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the US in 1828. Poinsettias are a shrub or small tree and can reach the height of 2 to 16 ft! Wouldn't it be beautiful to see a 16 ft. poinsettia!! I can't imagine.
Bearing the gift of pine cones.
Pine cones are traditionally used in wreaths and decorations, fire starters, bird feeders, and toys. Yes, toys. Cone cows are traditional homemade toys, made by children using material found in nature. The most common design is a pine cone with sticks for legs, which can easily be attached by forcing them between the cone scales. Playing with cone cows often includes building an animal enclosure from sticks. Cone cows are a part of children's culture in Finland and Sweden. Schools and other institutions teach children how to make cone cows as part of outdoors education on nature and history. In Finland there is a fairground with cone cow sculptures large enough for children to ride on. In Sweden, a video game was released in which the player may build virtual cone cows. Who would have thought you could do so much with a pine cone!

Bearing the gift of holly.
Holly is used for traditional Christmas decorations, especially wreaths.  The wood is heavy, hard and whitish. Holly is also used for making white chess pieces. Other uses include inlay work and firewood.

Bearing the gifts of a partridge and a pear.
Of course we know where these came from, the song "The Twelve Days Of Christmas." The earliest well-known version of the music of the song was recorded by English scholar James O. Halliwell in 1842. The twelve days in the song are the twelve days starting Christmas day. Suggestions have been made that the gifts have significance, as representing the food or sport for each month of the year. A little more trivia here,  according to the Associated Press the cost of making one’s true love happy will cost $87,403 this year.

Bearing the gift of lovely Christmas roses.
The Christmas rose is native to much of Europe. The flowers have five "petals" surrounding a ring of small, cup-like nectaries. The petals do not fall off as other petals would, but remain on the plant, sometimes for many months. Although the flowers of some species may resemble wild roses, and despite their name, they do not belong to the rose family

I hope you've enjoyed this little bit of information about the sweet gifts the bears are bringing. Thanks to Wikipedia for the information I have shared. Any mistakes are mine, especially the spelling!!!

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