Last year, my neighbour’s Christmas decorations included a peacock and quite frankly I thought he was going too far. His lawn was covered with camels, sheep, even a Santa Claus, but a peacock; seriously?
I had to choke back my bird criticism after I researched Christmas birds and stories. It turns out that the peacock is a symbol of resurrection and eternal life.
The robin is said to have fanned the inn’s shrinking fire into flame and thus earned his red breast.
It is said to have picked thorns from Christ’s brow at the crucifixion and had its feathers stained with Christ’s blood.
At a manger scene, a pheasant represents loyalty and faithfulness and a stork is said to have used its feathers to line the manger and thus earned the reputation of being the deliverer of babies everywhere. Meanwhile, a trumpeter swan expresses royalty.
Even though Ben Franklin loved the turkey and wanted it to be the national bird of the United States, it is a late arrival to the Christmas season. Goose used to be the main event but not likely till the 1800’s, and both were likely due to availability and advertising.
Note that the birds didn’t struggle to be important…they let God do his will with them.
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (Matthew 6:26, KJV)
Prayer- Lord when we think we are something, remind us that a real something is only found in you. Amen.
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