Five golden rings. We’ve thought about it, pondered it and came up with the perfect substitute: five golden flowers blooming. They are goldenrod, butterweed, partridge pea, black-eyed Susan and of course Florida’s state flower, coreopsis. We are La Florida after all.
In the 12 Days of Christmas, six of the first seven verses are bird references, partridges, turtle doves, french hens, geese and swans. The exception is the five golden rings. Some argue that even here, the reference is avian, not metallic — to ringed pheasants or more likely to goldfinches.
South Florida isn’t exactly the mother lode when it comes to gold (although we do have a town called Golden Beach). American goldfinches are known to winter over in Florida, but they lack their bold summer finery during the Christmas season.
So we’ve decided to go in an entirely new direction: wild flowers, and the ones we’ve chosen are all Florida natives, all worthy gifts from or for a true love.
By the way, goldenrod, pictured above, gets a bad rap when it comes pollen-induced allergies. Its pollen is sticky and is spread by bees and other insects rather than the wind. It’s one of our favorites.
Blame ragweed instead.