A Scandinavian Christmas Tradition for the Birds

Birds don't celebrate Christmas, but they appreciate a feast at any time of year. Begun perhaps to distract birds from grain stores, the Swedish tradition of sharing the final harvest is a charming way to end the old year and welcome the new. 

The Julkarve, or Christmas sheaf, is customarily a farmer's last sheaf of harvested grain. The household bundles it together and places it high on a pole or rooftop on Christmas Eve, inviting local wild birds to dine. Legend says that a good crop next year is foretold if many birds gather. 

Want to try this? Check this article for an easy how-to. 

Don't have a pole or rooftop? Try spreading seed on the ground, a doorstep, or the top of a fence. Just make sure to tell the birds to stay clear of any reindeer.