It may just be a clever marketing ploy to get Helen to buy more bird seed. However, I like the tradition just the same.
Helen loves her birds. There were more than a hundred of them in the back yard this morning. They come for the daily seed Smörgåsbord. Today we started what will undoubtedly become a tradition at our place. I like this tradition more than watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or a half-dozen other perenninal Christmas favourites of Helen's. (The Grinch is a possible exception.)
Traditionally, Scandinavian families hung a sheaf of grain outside of their homes for the benefit of birds that overwinter. According to the literature on the card (above), some Scandinavians also sprinkle seeds at the entrance to their dwellings. Performing this ritual on Christmas morning is said to bring good fortune in the New Year.
|Along with cardinals, mourning doves, chickadees, blue jays, nutchatches, woodpeckers, goldfinches, juncos, pine siskins, we routinely get flocks of 100 cedar waxwings, or common red polls (above) in our yard.
So this morning we spread some seed on our front door step. For good measure, we spread some on the back step as well. With our New Year's draw fast approaching, you may want to do the same.
Still, I have a nagging suspicion that there is more to the tradition than a desire to win the lotto. What the tradition is really about is sharing the wealth, giving thanks for what we have, and spreading the gifts of the season to those beyond our immediate circle of family and friends. The more I think about it, the more I like this new tradition of ours. Take a moment today, tomorrow, or the next, and do something nice for someone you have just met.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Helen and Chris