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Right in my Own Backyard - A Cardinal Christmas - by Brandt Carter
posted: Jan. 06, 2022

Right in my Own Backyard header

A Cardinal Christmas
Thanksgiving rushes by as I ready for my yearly pilgrimage-unpacking my Christmas decorations. Included in the boxes full of ornaments, Santas, snowmen, manger and lights are my seasonal books that I bring out once a year. I have a small traditional collection of holiday reading. I realized that because of my love of backyard birdfeeding, I have been collecting books with cardinals as the main characters.
My new best favorite is A Redbird Christmas by bestselling author Fanny Flagg. She uses her southern charm to tell a story about a visitor, the townspeople, a young girl, and the cardinals, and what can happen when you wish for a miracle. Flagg is a gifted storyteller who knows how to tug at readers' heartstrings by bringing nature and people together to symbolize the true meaning of the season.
Now that I have grandchildren, I have included a few books for them. The Christmas Eve Blizzard tells of Nicholas and his grandfather as they push aside the Christmas tree to lovingly care for a cardinal trapped in the snow of a blizzard on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning finds Nicholas more concerned about the bird than opening his gifts. It uses some Spanish words and has a Spanish/English glossary in addition to bird feeder crafts. I know this book will become dearer in my home since our newest grandchild is a Nicholas.
Although not specific to the holidays, Albert is another children's book that delights in telling a tale about never knowing what a new day will bring. Then one sunny day, Albert stuck his hand out the window, and the next thing he knew, a cardinal dropped a twig in his hand, and from that moment on, Albert's life is changed forever.
Stop and take your copy of A Christmas Carol, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Why the Chimes Rang or check a new book out of the library, and take a breather to read. During the hustle and bustle, the quiet moments of a good tale or a well written story can be a celebration. It is through these books and poems that we can rejoice in the miracles of the season.

Brandt Carter, artist, herbalist, and naturalist, owns Backyard Birds at 2374 E. 54th Street. Visit her web site Email your bird questions to
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