My most memorable Christmas toy was not a toy at all. I was probably six or seven, maybe eight, and I longed to have a pet bird. A parakeet was my choice, but pretty much any bird would do. I wanted it more than any toy. I begged, pleaded, reasoned, but the only answers I got were vague and un-encouraging.
We had a bedroom/storage room upstairs in the attic space of our Berwyn (Illinois) bungalow. I definitely remember the door to it was closed at the top of the steps, but I entered it and looking for something now totally forgotten, but probably related to Christmas decorations, as I knew the big boos was in there. Much to my surprise, there was a green parakeet in a new red cage in the room! I was so excited, I forgot what I was looking for and went flying down the stairs to breathlessly tell my mom there was a bird upstairs! She was gentle with me, but let me know that sometimes one can spoil their own secret!
I did get that bird for Christmas and named her (or him? Who knows?) Phoebe, after a friend of mine at school. Who can argue with a name like Phoebe? I loved the “Ph” was an “F” sound, the “oe” became only the “e”, but “be” was “be”. Phoebe. Such a beautiful name for a bird.
~ Mary Ellen Porter
Creator God, as surely as angels heralded Christ’s birth to the shepherds, we believe that heaven and nature sang that night. We thank You for birds whose voices awaken us to a new day and lull us to sleep at night. We unite our voices in this familiar carol: “Joy to the world; the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare Him room And heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and heaven and nature sing.” Amen.