Two days in a row, I have been thinking about my mom. Today I am thinking about her because her Christmas Cactus is blossoming. There are scores of buds promising a big bloom. A remarkable feat, considering the plant is over 50 years old.
I always keep a start growing beside it in the window. It’s blooming, too.
Some of you know I have a propensity to name things. This plant is named “Mom’s Christmas Cactus.” It has graced my living room since 1993, which means that by the law of possession it should be “My Christmas Cactus.” My daughters all have their own pots started from “Mom’s Christmas Cactus.” I may have heard one call her plant “Grandma’s Christmas Cactus.”
When mom died, the cactus was so large that we had to trim it to get it through the doorway of her house. I didn’t have an out of the way place for it to grow, so it has never returned to its former dimensions. Frolicking children and clumsy adults impede its attempts to reach out into the room.
We are pleased when it blooms at Thanksgiving - like this year. Once it bloomed in April. Sometimes it blooms over a period of months, leisurely working its way around the circle of scalloped stems. I love it when it blossoms all at once in gay profusion with no room for even one more pink pagoda.
The remainder of the months it is rather forlorn in appearance. (I hate to admit that it is not a pretty and decorative houseplant, but that is the truth.)
The dreary wait is worth it, though, when “Mom’s Christmas Cactus” celebrates the season.