Christmas Rose is a European evergreen plant with white or purplish roselike winter-blooming flowers. While in the U.S. the Poinsettia has become the preferred Christmas flower, German and in some other European countries, use the symbol of the Christmas rose, frequently with an evergreen branch for decorations. It can be found on table clothes, napkins, wrapping paper and Christmas cards.
Part of the color in celebration of the season is the blooming of Christmas roses. While a variety of plants over time have come to be called "Christmas Rose", they all are steeped in a legend that dates back centuries.
The Legend of the Christmas Rose speaks of a young girl named Madelon who wanted to come worship the Christ Child. Seeing the gold, frankincense and myrrh brought by others who were drawn to the humble birthplace, she despaired that she had no gift to bring, for Madelon was poor indeed.
In vain she searched the countryside for a flower that she might bring, but the winter had been cold and harsh - and there were no flowers to be found. Saddened, the girl began to weep. An angel passing over her stopped to provide comfort and smote the ground that was wet from her tears. There did spring a beautiful bush that bloomed of white roses.
"Nor myrrh, nor frankincense, nor gold," said the angel, "is offering more meet for the Christ Child than these pure Christmas Roses." And thus young Madelon went her way and worshipped the Prince of Peace, bearing the gift of her heart and tears.