Birds of Christmas: The Cards
GREENE CO., MO. — Part four of a series in which I set out explore some of the ways that birds help us celebrate Christmas.
Hopefully, we are all sending at least some of our greetings electronically these days to help reduce the millions of pounds of paper used each year for Christmas cards. But what to do with all of your old cards? Well, they do make nice holiday decorations (especially those with birds, of course), and others can be recycled.
Of all the cards I looked through while compiling this post, cardinals and white doves were by far the most commonly depicted birds.
In addition to the peace dove, this card displays four species very familiar in wintry backyards across eastern North America: Northern Cardinal, White-throated Sparrow, Black-capped/Carolina Chickadee, and Blue Jay.
Twenty-eight state birds decorate an evergreen tree on this card from the National Wildlife Federation. Every state bird is represented; 28 is the number of birds once all the duplicates have been removed. Northern Cardinal, for instance, is the state bird in seven states, and Western Meadowlark holds the honor in six.
Two birds add their voices to a musician’s melody on this little card from Spain. “I’m sending this little friend of mine to bring you my very warm greetings from Spain,” wrote the sender. “December, 1973.”
A swatch of Indonesian batik fabric colors the Christmas dove on this card from Jakarta. “Selamat Hari Natal,” it reads inside, “Merry Christmas & Season’s Greeting.”
A small black-and-white bird is one of the woodland creatures gathered around the Christmas tree on this card, which was hand-embroidered in Switzerland. Does anyone familiar with European birds know whether it represents a real species?