December

The birthstone for December is turquoise and zircon, the birthflower is the poinsettia.

Turquoise

Turquoise is hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate. Turquoise is a secondary mineral deposited from circulating waters. The name turquoise comes from 'turc' (Turkish in French) as it was transported to Europe through Turkey.

Turquoise is a symbol of friendship and is said to carry the wisdom of truth. Given as a gift, Turquoise is believed by many to bestow wealth and happiness upon its receiver. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 5th year of marriage.

Zircon

Zircon is a silicate mineral, zirconium silicate with a high refractive index so is used to imitate diamonds. It occurs in beach sands and gem varieties occur in stream gravels and detrital deposits.

Zircon supposedly helps one be more at peace with oneself. Zircon is believed to provide the wearer with wisdom, honor and riches.

Poinsettia

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) isn't actually a flower, the whole plant including the red are actually leaves. However it is also known as the Christmas flower. It symbolises joy, love, hope, purity, holiness and motherhood.

It has a lovely story in folklore;

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 alter, 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.

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