Every country, every nation has their Christmas traditions and customs. Jachym and I are both Czech, but for the past eight years, we´ve been living in Northern Sweden, with me being influenced a lot by Canadian and American habits as well.
I am not sure if it has anything to do with the multi-national Christmas celebration ways, as a matter of fact I believe we kind of live in our own little big world in the woods, far from other people, and even more far from friends and family and that is, in fact, what I think had made us create some of our own customs and traditions.
And one such tradition is our Christmas (December 24th) day walk to the woods above our house and kennel, and hanging of tallow and seed balls on "the Bird Tree". The "Bird Tree" is a tree we chose for this purpose our very first winter in our new home in Sweden. We went for a walk and saw a bunch of birds sitting on and flying around this tree, which is actually a consisting of three birches growing together. We immediately thought that this would be the place where we would bring some Christmas food for the birds every year every since. Which is partially a Czech custom, to bring food to the animals in the forest. Back in our homeland, especially in the old times, people used to bring apples and straw or hay to the wildlife as an act of kindness and giving.
Yesterday wasn´t any different for us. We would often bring the oldies-goldies for this short walk, or a litter of puppies when we had one during this time and yesterday it was the house dogs plus Sparky, who is now officially retired from the race team (still can´t believe that one, but knowing he enjoys himself as a puppy team leader and being just himself - playing, running lose and going for walks and trips, makes it easier for me to bare that he´s not on the main team anymore). The boys (Granite and Sparky) ran lose the whole way while the girls (Mouse and Krtek) pulled me on the skijor belt. The old girl Babeli opted for staying in the cozy warmth of her dog bed and wait for Santa, in case he comes while we weren´t home.
We hung the tallow balls on the Bird Tree, wished our wild neighbors a Merry Christmas and thanked Mother Nature for all her gifts, abundance and wisdom, before we turned back towards home, to start our own Christmas Eve preparations.
I love these simple traditions. They make me happy and grateful and I look forward to them each time.
And what are yours? Do you have any special, or your very own custom or tradition on Christmas? Please do share, would love to hear from you!