EVER WONDER how the poinsettia became a symbol of Christmas?

According to legend, it began many years ago in a Mexican village where two children grew up in poverty.

Maria and Pablo knew there would be few gifts for them on Christmas morning, but festivities at their local church gave them something to look forward. It was the villagers' custom to give presents to the Baby Jesus, but with no money, the children could not buy a gift.

As the children walked to the church, they lamented not having a proper gift. A glowing light and an angel suddenly appeared. The angel told them to pick the short, green weeds that grew along the roadside and place them beside the manger display at the church.

The children did as they were told. Just as the villagers pointed and laughed at the weeds, the green leaves on the plants began to turn red and became the lovely star-shaped flowers we call poinsettias. The children had given the most beautiful gift of all.

You can make this poinsettia craft to add to your Christmas decor.

Supplies you will need

* 1 9-inch spring clothespin

* Small gold beads

* Gold glitter

* Green acrylic paint and brush

* 1 sheet each red and green glitter craft foam sheets

* Low-temperature glue gun

* White craft glue

* Pencil

* Scissors

How to make it

Lay the green craft foam glitter side down on a flat work surface. Lay the clothespin flat side down on top of the sheet and trace around the perimeter. Cut out and repeat with the other side of the clothespin. Set the two pieces aside. Paint the clothespin green on all sides and set aside to dry.

Turn the remaining piece of green foam on your work surface, glitter side down, and draw two leaf shapes, about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. Turn the glitter side down on the red sheet and draw five leaves slightly smaller than the green ones. Draw five more slightly smaller than the first red ones. Cut all the leaf shapes out.

When the clothespin is dry, glue the green pieces of foam (from the clothespin tracings) on the front and back of the outside of the clothespin with white craft glue. Using the glue gun, build your poinsettia in the upper half on one side of the clothespin. Glue the two green leaves opposite each other, then layer on the red leaves, large red first then small red leaves on top.

Glue the gold beads to the center of the poinsettia, then sprinkle gold glitter on top of the beads.