There is nothing more hopeless or depressing than poinsettias the day AFTER Christmas. I know there are happy people, those who think the glass is interminably half full, who are pampering those vulgar red plants with manure and clear water, saying things like, "In California they grow as large as bushes!" Off with their heads! Poinsettias have no place in a non-Christmas world, which is why I carry mine out to the trash the minute Christmas is over. They are weeks old and have already grown spindly, dropping their phony leaves, which curl up pathetically on the hard floor. And it's not that I've ignored them. I take excellent care of them, but they are a planned obsolescent plant. Stick your fingers in the dirt. It's not real dirt. It's Barbie dirt. Little foam pellets. What can live longer than three weeks in dirt like that? Christmas is over. Poinsettias are pointless.