Story of the Pointsettia

 While attending a book fair in Southern California, I sat in on a wonderful storyteller. Hoping that your Christmas will be filled with warm memories and great stories to share!

 Blue Monday with Sallie is a fun meme at

Mellow Yellow Monday is another fun meme at

One favorite holiday book of mine is from Barefoot Books Publishers:

Ages 4-9

The Miracle of the First Poinsettia

A Mexican Christmas Story

Celebrate the season with this touching tale of the story behind the first poinsettia in Mexico. Young Juanita may not have much money, but she does have a lot of faith and her trust leads her right into a miracle.

Written By: Joanne Oppenheim
Illustrated By: Fabian Negrin 

I have visited the Paul Ecke Pointsettia ranch for many years. It is located nearby and more towards the ocean.

Poinsettias are synonymous with Christmas and the brightly colored plants are a sure sign that the Christmas season has begun. Poinsettias are also synonymous with the Paul Ecke Ranch, the world’s largest and most successful poinsettia breeder. The Paul Ecke Ranch has been growing and breeding poinsettias for almost 100 years! Today over half of all poinsettias sold worldwide have been bred by the Paul Ecke Ranch.
For more history information, visit

A charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked slowly to the chapel with her cousin Pedro, her heart was filled with sadness rather than joy.

"I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes," said Pedro consolingly.

Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet. Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness of her offering. She fought back a tear as she entered the small village chapel.

As she approached the altar, she remembered Pedro's kind words: "Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes." She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.

Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes.

From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season.

Today, the common name for this plant is the poinsettia!

Wishing you happiness around the table with family, friends and loved ones... and a very Merry Christmas!


“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis
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Top Ten Attractions in San Francisco

Mellow Yellow Monday

Blue Monday
 If you've been to San Francisco, then you've probably visited:

1. Golden Gate Bridge
2. Japanese Tea Garden
3. Exploratorium
4. Fisherman's Wharf
5. Alcatraz
6. Cable Cars
7. Chinatown
8. North Beach
9. Alamo Square (Lombard Street)
10. Red-and-White-Ferry (Sausalito)

I go at least once a year to visit family and discover new spots. My favorite was taking a walk around the neighborhood, seeing the lovely homes and finding a San Francisco Blue Jay!

Ages 1-4

Today my grandson and I are reading:

The Parrot Tico Tango

Come down to the rainforest to meet Tico Tango and his animal friends. Tico Tango wants all of the fruit in the forest, even though it belongs to other animals. Will he learn what's right and wrong? The rhyming text teaches colors and animals, as well as an important lesson about sharing.

Book with CD edition features music by Brian Amador.

Written By: Anna Witte
Book Purchase 

Living Barefoot is participating in Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis
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Reindeer and Moose

Reindeer Candy Cane

 This coming Thursday is our Christmas Kindergarten Music Class Performance! Our five year olds will be singing their songs, along with playing their rhythm sticks. Also, the hand bell choir will be performing and later on we will be handing out scarfs that the children made themselves to the sweet folks who are in the nursing facility.

Reindeer and Chocolate Pretzels

 The candy cane reindeer are so easy to make. Just wrap one brown pipe cleaner for its antlers. Hot glue those eyes and large pom poms. I used what I had, so this year Rudolph's nose is quite small!

The reindeer remind me of some Barefoot Books!

Ages 1-4

Elusive Moose

Search for the elusive moose in the snowy north, and meet lots of other north land animals on the journey. Hardcover and Paperback editions include end notes about all the creatures, a guessing game of animal footprints, and a page of informative facts about the moose.

Written By: Joan Gannij
Illustrated By: Clare Beaton

Ages 1-4

One Moose, Twenty Mice

Count the animals from one to twenty while searching for the cat in this lively hide-and-seek selection that introduces animals like frogs, whales, monkeys, ducks, hens and elephants.
Ages 1 to 4 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Clare Beaton

 From cute little counting books for $6.99 to a sweet colorful reindeer to eat or hang on your tree, enjoy this wonderful time of year as you and your family are preparing for the holidays.

Have fun!

Moose Finger Puppet

Explore the snowy north with this chocolate brown moose. This finger puppet is six inches long.
Ages 3 to 8 years
Produced By: Folkmanis 


I wanted to ask you, is your tree up?

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis
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Over in the Meadow

Barefoot Books

Over in the Meadow is for
Ages 3 to 6 years
Illustrated By: Jill McDonald
Sung By: Susan Reed

This traditional English song explores all kinds of creatures who live over in the meadow. With notes on meadows and the furry mice, bumpy toads and other wildlife in the story. 


Owlkids Books

 Book Review:

Not only is the book educational in teaching little ones about rhyming and counting but children will delight in "seeking and finding" baby animals, plus discovering many familiar items incorporated in beautiful, illustrated photographs. I liked Jan Thornhill's unique and imaginative approach to a familiar, favorite story. A vibrant, delightful 'feast to the eyes' (from slippers to brown sugar) and fun time for every preschooler. 

Over in the Meadow


Here is my Mellow Yellow Post. Since we have mostly Palm Trees, I looked high and low and found a tree in the valley changing leaf color. Visit more photos at Mellow Yellow Monday

Down in the Meadow

Here is my Blue Monday post for  Smiling Sallys blog:
Beautiful New Mexico!