Legend of the Christmas Rose

Roses Are Love, Hope, and Joy

I love flowers, especially roses.  To me, roses are love, hope and joy.  We buy them for ourselves and for others because of those specific feelings. Did you know that there are a couple of varieties that have been cultivated for around six hundred years? Yes, hundreds of years of love, hope and joy through growing and /or receiving.

Roses and I go way back… not hundreds of years or I wouldn’t be writing this, but way back… and I have have punctured many a finger on their thorns.

Before I moved to North Texas, when I was back in South Louisiana, I had a “rose garden” next to the patio.  At one time, there were six different colored rose bushes growing there.  Well, the roses were different colors… the bushes were all green.  Some people have a gift for growing them.  Not me.  I had to read just about everything I could find on how to keep them healthy and blooming.  It was worth it though.

Christmas Roses?

roses for mama

Mama Liked the Roses

Recently, I was doing a painting of, well… roses, and while I was painting I couldn’t get Elvis Presley’s rendition of  “Mama Liked the Roses” out of my head.  Why?  Glad you asked… it’s on an old Christmas CD that I’ve been playing.  Yeah, a Christmas CD.  I think it was a song that was special to him and he had a spot to fill on the original record.  It also made me think of my mother.  She liked roses too.

Anyway, I got to wondering if there was such a thing as a Christmas rose.  You know, a special variety cultivated just for this time of year.  I figured it would be red and white.  Well, what I found was there IS something called a Christmas Rose… and it isn’t a rose at all.  It’s a perennial and grows in the cold, snowy mountains and valleys of Europe.  Boy was I disappointed.

What I wasn’t disappointed in, was a story that  I came across.  A legend that probably was first told in Europe.  If you don’t know it, read on my friend.

Legend of the Christmas Rose

Here’s a condensed version.

When everyone was bringing gifts to the newborn Jesus, a young shepherdess, Madelon, wished to bring something to the baby as well.  Being poor, she had no gift to offer, but rushed back to the hill where her flock was where she searched for flowers she could pick and give to the child.  Finding none, and with no gift to offer, she feel to her knees outside the manger and cried.

christmas rose

The Christmas Rose

An angel watching over her knew about her search and her despair in finding nothing.  Coming to her aide, he brushed aside the snow where her tears had fallen and under the snow appeared a beautiful cluster of white winter roses.  The angel told the young girl that this would be a gift far more valuable than the gifts brought by even those of the wise men…  for these roses were pure and made of love.  She presented them to the baby Jesus and was filled with joy from his happiness at the gift.  Thus, the Christmas Rose came to symbolize the hope, love and joy of the season.


So to you and yours…. Hope, Love, Joy


2 thoughts on “Legend of the Christmas Rose

  1. Karren, I love this blog post! I see you also get songs that run on a continuous loop in your brain as you are painting…that’s one of the things I love about art: as we concentrate on the painting, so many memories come back to the surface from wherever they were stored for all these years! Merry Christmas my friend!


    • Hello! Thanks for the comment. I often have music on while I’m painting. Sometimes it fits the project and sometimes it’s just on for no particular reason other than for the joy it gives me. Merry Christmas to you too!


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