It’s become a yearly ritual. Every year before Christmas, Associate Karen Cutler and Br. Don Houde, CSV,

Associate Karen Cutler selects from the fields of poinsettias

travel to a nearby nursery to shop for poinsettias to decorate the Province Center foyer, offices and areas of the retirement wing — and for the chapel, once Advent concludes.

They carefully look at the size, color and shape of the vibrant poinsettias before ordering their delivery. Once they come — 25 in the first delivery and another 10 after Advent — it’s all hands on deck to unwrap and place the flowers.

Poinsettia plants are native to Central America. According to Mexican legend, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night.

The shape of the poinsettia flower and its leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus, while the red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ.

At the Province Center, they have come to symbolize the beauty and wonderment of the Christmas season, and serve to uplift all who see them.