They find their tree and then decorate it, right there in the woods, with a popcorn garland, apples, tangerines, and balls of seeds and honey. They spread out a blanket and with cups of cocoa to warm them, they sing Christmas carols and wait for any woodland creatures to come upon their tree.
We took our tree down just a day after Christmas. The pine needles were falling off and Mark and I were ready for it to go, but our kids were disappointed. Audra, in particular, was sad to see all the ornaments and lights taken down and wanted to keep it decorated. It was then that she remembered the book above, which we'd recently read, and had the idea to decorate our tree all over again, but this time-- outside!
Mark stood our tree up in the garden and we set to work, stringing popcorn, and stringing dried apple slices and craisins, and we made our own seed balls by rolling apples in peanut butter and then in bird seed. And then we ran outside and quickly decorated the tree-- it was cold out there, and we were still in our jammies!-- and ran back inside to wait and watch from the windows.
It was the neighborhood squirrels who found our tree first, crunching into our popcorn with delight. Then, slowly came some Dark-eyed Juncos, and some Varied Thrushes, some House Sparrows and some Chickadees. A Robin eyed the whole affair from a nearby tree but decided against it. A Woodpecker flew overhead but didn't alight. It was such a fun little activity that I feel sure we'll do it again!
|A Varied Thrush, interested in the popcorn the squirrels had tossed to the ground.|
|A Black-capped Chickadee, pecking at another seed ball we hung on another tree.|