27 December 2010

A Christmas Gift


We were surprised with a white Christmas this year. I say surprised because, even though it was forecast, it wouldn't have been the first time that snow was forecasted down here in the South, yet not even a solitary flake appeared. The snow is still here, and probably will be for another day or so.

The snow isn't that deep, but it shut many important roadways down. It's a bit embarrassing, having lived up north with six months of the year having some degree of snow cover that only rarely resulted in major closures. Of course, around here underneath the pretty blanket of snow typically lies a treacherous sheet of ice, making driving and walking outside sometimes a bit tricky.

The white snow made a nice background for the menagerie of wildlife in the backyard...especially the birds. There are many species there, depending on the season. The male cardinals in their bright red feathers stood out more than the rest. That particular species of bird is not known for sharing with other birds, and they often run off other birds from the bird feeder. Except on Christmas....

Take a look at the photo. You'll see cardinals sharing with other birds. This went on all day and has not been seen before or since. The only explanation we have as to this uncharacteristic behavior is that it was Christmas.

These birds illustrated a major theme of Christmas: sharing and giving to others. Ask yourself if this Christmas you sought out what you could do for others and give to others rather than what you could get. If not, well, we're all only human. It's never too late to start cultivating a giving spirit and helping other people.