Many current tree decorations and their colors represent religious symbols: the star is The Star of Bethlehem; the bell brings lost sheep to the fold; the candle is the Divine Light of Jesus; the gift-bow is a symbol of Christian Commitment; the candy cane is the Good Shepard’s Hook; the wreath is the symbol of God’s Eternal Love; red is Christ”s Blood; blue is the Bosom of Winter; green is the symbol of Everlasting Life. Colored christmas balls evolved in Eastern Europe in the Moselle area of France where an early glassblower had the idea of colored balls to replace apples on the Christmas Tree. Since then of course, with our ever-growing technology, we can now make millions of every shape, size, and color to hang on those synthetic trees. I am not sure what the sparkly pink ones symbolize!! Perhaps it is Money!
These cold and color-drab days of winter are actually my favorite time of year for visiting the outdoors and searching for holiday birds. The cold air is sharp and crisp and on bright days the sky can be the deepest blue! While the general color of the landscape is a subdued gray-brown, God has provided his own natural decorations to impress all who take the time to look. In our Eastern North Carolina, the forests are usually a mix of evergreen pine and hardwood. The green pines offer their own decoration and remind us of abundant and everlasting life even on the darkest winter days. I see the birds of winter as God’s ornaments given us to brighten these days. Their red, yellow, and blue colors appear as ornaments on the drab hardwoods or the green evergreens. The Cardinal shines brightly where ever he sits. The bright yellow Pine Warbler lights up the pines and appears as a bright ornament nestled in the green clumps where he searches for food, Bluebirds and Blue Jays add their blue hues to the Christmas mix. If you can, take a walk outside, as far away from the concrete capital as you can and check out God’s real decorations in your area. See some of these below, captured in photos in my area the last few days.