We took photos of this round little bird, a European Robin, in Ireland recently. Although they have similar colors with red chest feathers, I wondered why its body shape was so unlike an American Robin’s. In actuality, it is because they are from different bird families, but this old European legend might explain why each is referred to as a robin.
The legend states that on the night Jesus was born, a robin heard Mary’s plea to keep their dying fire from burning out. This robin fanned the fire with its wings until the fire was warm and red. While continuing to fan the fire, the robin picked up twigs with its beak and threw them onto the fire to keep the flames glowing. However, the flames singed the robin’s white breast, turning it red.
Isn’t that a charming story? It is thought that when Europeans began to emigrate to the United States, this legend was applied to our American Robin simply because of its coloring.
Merry Christmas to all my family, friends, and blog readers! Today’s prompt is gift, and I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate than this! After all, He is the Reason for the Season. The painting is based on one of my favorites in a collection of Christmas books that we read to the kids about 20 years ago.
Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a peaceful day filled with hope and love.
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la. Didn’t know I could sing, did you? Well, it can barely be called singing, but this time of year has me caroling every day. Actually, December is my birthday month and that is why my parents named me Carol, although the name Holly was a close contender. But I digress . . .
Holly leaves and berries
Holly is a popular decoration at Christmastime and dates back to pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. As Christianity was introduced, the prickly leaves of the holly plant represented the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified. The berries represented the drops of blood that were shed by Jesus for our salvation. Also, it is said that the leaves resemble flames to remind us of God’s burning love for His people.
Holly berries are a great source of food for birds and other outdoor wildlife but are toxic to humans and pets, so it is best to keep real holly berries outside. However, the leaves make excellent wreaths and sprigs that last quite a while. Fa la la la la!