12.23.2010

Two...Bird Watching

Birds are taking over our yard! But that's okay, because I think they are just beautiful to watch. In the winter, food becomes harder for them to find, so why not give the gift of a bird feeder? When I was a little girl, my mom used to read a book to me that told of the Christmas traditions in other countries. In fact, I still have the book, Christmas Around the World by Emily Kelley. Apparently Ms. Kelley has updated it since I read the book, but in my copy from 1986, she talks about the Christmas traditions in Norway (no longer in the newer version): 
Many Christmas customs in Norway began long, long ago. One favorite custom starts at harvest time late in the fall. The best wheat is saved. At Christmastime it is put on poles made from tree branches. These make nice perches for the birds. A large circle of snow is cleared away beneath each pole. Norwegians say the birds dance in the circle between meals. This works up their appetites. Just before sunset on Christmas Eve, the head of the household checks on the wheat in the yard. If many sparrows are eating, it means a good year for growing crops. (Pg. 36-37) 
I've done some light research online and have not been able to find anything about this "custom" anywhere - so maybe that's why it was pulled from the newer version of the book...still, the idea fits with what I'm about to suggest. My late grandmother used to love to watch birds flock to her various bird feeders and I'm sure she's not the only person who enjoys watching God's creation in their own backyard. When I was five, I helped my mom put up a bird feeder in our back yard. Yes, I have a picture...


I'm standing on the bucket that held our birdseed, and everyday I would check to see if the feeder needed more. Yep, good memories. So...what does all of that have to do with today's gift idea?

Well, if you're short on time but you know someone who would love to look out of their window and watch the birds, I would highly recommend running down to your local Lowe's and picking up a bird feeder (you can pay $5 or $50) and some appropriate birdseed. If you choose a suet feeder, make sure you get a couple of extra suet packages. To really top off this gift, stop by a bookstore (or even the dollar store - which has been known to have such things!) and pick up a bird identification book. That way, they can figure out what birds are showing up for a meal. If the gift recipient is elderly, offer to hang/install the bird feeder for them - the gift of time and help is always appreciated.

There's one shopping day left - come back tomorrow and see what I've picked for a truly LAST - last minute gift! Happy Bird Watching!

Disclosure: Amazon links are part of Amazon Associates, but all opinions are my own.

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