Monday, July 26, 2010

A symbol of Christmas

It makes sense that a cardinal would become a symbol of Christmas because of the male’s bight red feathers, but I never thought about it until I started seeing ornaments like this one. It’s hard to make out, but the plastic blob on the penguin’s hat is a tiny cardinal. The bird is named for the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, who wear bright red robes. Cardinals (the birds) don’t migrate, so they can be seen throughout their range around Christmas time, even in the cold and snowy northeast. You might even run into one on an expedition into the woods to find a Christmas tree, which might be where this penguin is headed, bundled up in a red sweater and hat and a green sweater. That’s a birdhouse in the penguin’s left wing.

Plastic penguin with hinged brown feet and wings holding birdhouse
Acquired: Dec. 21, 2005, Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, New York City
Number: 0283
Size: 5 inches tall
Price: $12

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