It’s December and almost time for my favourite festival of the year, Christmas. I love the lights, the colour, the spectacle, the camaraderie and the “Merry Christmas’s” said to all and sundry in the final week before the big day itself. I’ll happily trot around the neighbourhood looking at the lights in people’s homes, and when I’m travelling about I’m often the first to spot the Christmas lights in gardens. It always holds such promise and yes, before you ask, I do believe in Santa Claus!
This month, all the writing prompts are related to Christmas but are not necessarily about Christmas itself, unless of course, you choose to write that into your piece. I’m kicking off with a song prompt from Bing Crosby and the challenge is to write about an animal, bird or insect that you do or might associate with a celebration-without it being on the dinner plate!
Why is the Robin associated with Christmas?
There are two theories. In the first, a small brown bird protected the infant Jesus from the heat of the fire in the stable and his breast was scorched. The redness passed on down through the generations to the friendly robins we see today.
Another story tells us it was a robin that pulled a thorn from the crown Jesus wore on the cross coating his breast with Jesus’ blood.
And in the late 19th Century Victorian postmen wore red uniforms, as a proud link to the British flag, earning them the nickname ‘robin redbreast’. As Christmas drew near people all over England eagerly awaited cards from loved ones, delivered by their local ‘robin’. The small bird’s fate was sealed, as artists began illustrating Christmas cards with the birds delivering festive letters and cards. In 1960, the robin was voted the national bird of the United Kingdom and is still my husbands’ favourite bird down on the allotment or in the garden.
As usual, if you want to share your thoughts and writing I’d love to read it, and so would my lovely readers. Alternatively, share the prompt with a friend and see what you each come up with.
My effort is below:
Gävlebocken won this year’s fight with arsonists. Perhaps it was the coating he’d applied to his straw coat before standing so carefully throughout December in Gävle’s town square. He positioned himself just so, that way he could watch all the entrances and exits to the square. His beady eyes stared down shoppers and merrymakers throughout the long winter nights and short days, watching all the time for the first hint of trouble. If he saw it heading his way he would puff up and rattle the bells around his neck, flash the lights on his handle to let storekeepers and residents know something was afoot and they would amass buckets in hand to protect him through another pranksters attempt at murder. On January 1st he was tired and ready for rest and recuperation in the barn outside town before he took his turn on the Christmas streets again.