Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Bird That Don’t Fly No Mo

By Kathy Kovach 

As we move into the Advent season with Christmas mere weeks away, I look forward to bringing the red plastic boxes up from the basement. Among my treasured decorations is a time-worn nest with a life-sized bird that I purchased in Germany when my husband was stationed there. I’ve used it through the years as a way to fill holes in the tree branches. But only recently have I learned what a nesting bird in a Christmas tree signifies.

But first, I wish to address the tree. Whether one puts up a tree or not, there's no
denying the heroic efforts of one man. The Christian version of the tree dates back to the mid-700s when St. Boniface used it (and an axe) to destroy the pagan notions of the "Thunder Oak"—also know as the "Jupiter Oak"dedicated to the false god, Thor. This was done in the state of Hesse, which, ironically, is where we were stationed 12 centuries later at Rhein Main AFB in Frankfurt. You can read about this fascinating man and his mission here. Years later, around the mid-16th century, Martin Luther decorated the now redeemed tree with candles to symbolize Christ, the Light of the world.

A few years later, a Bavarian tradition was started. The Bride's Tree gained popularity as the newly wedded couple would receive twelve gifts to symbolize their first year together. One of these gifts is a nesting bird. It's said if a nesting bird is found in the family Christmas tree, it symbolizes a happy home, love, joy and commitment. The Bride's Tree takes this a step further by having a crafted dove to signify the Holy Spirit. The other eleven gifts can be found here

My granddaughter, at age five, was fascinated with my little nesting bird. She had to show her father, declaring, "Look Daddy! It's a bird that don't fly no mo." We had a good laugh over that, and a decade later we still relish that memory when the decorations come out. But I pray her statement is true as I utter this prayer: 

Holy Spirit, You are welcome here. 
At my hearth, in my home. 
May You never fly away but always be our Peace.

My bird bought in Germany

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year, my friends. May you find a nesting bird in your tree this holiday season.

A Bouquet of Brides Collection
Meet seven American women who were named for various flowers but struggle to bloom where God planted them. Can love help them grow to their full potential?

"Periwinkle in the Park" by Kathleen Kovach
1910, Colorado
Periwinkle Winfield is a hiking guide helping to commission a national park. But a run-in with a mountain man who is determined to keep the government off his land may place her in great danger.
Kathleen E. Kovach is a Christian romance author published traditionally through Barbour Publishing, Inc. as well as indie. Kathleen and her husband, Jim, raised two sons while living the nomadic lifestyle for over twenty years in the Air Force. Now planted in northeast Colorado, she's a grandmother, though much too young for that. Kathleen is a longstanding member of American Christian Fiction Writers. An award-winning author, she presents spiritual truths with a giggle, proving herself as one of God's peculiar people.


  1. Fascinating. I went to the link for the Bird Tree and found I had many of the ornaments listed there. Thanks for sharing this interesting post.

  2. Kathy, I've often wondered at the tradition of the Christmas tree. You had to have dug deep, and I'm grateful! Love the bird in its nest ornament.

    1. Yes, I didn't know anything about St. Boniface. But then, I'm not Catholic. Fascinating history!

  3. Thanks for posting! Love the family memory. You will never forget that association!

  4. Nope. She's almost 18 now and we still talk about it.