Monday, December 21, 2015

For the birds: A Julenek

I'm not very consistent about putting up (or taking down) holiday decorations, but these two vintage post cards always come out of storage for the season. They were given to me many years ago when I lived in Thompson, a small then-predominantly (and perhaps still) Norwegian town in Winnebago County.

The little girl in the "Godt Nytarr!" card is carrying a package dated 1916, so I'm assuming that both  colorful little scraps of paper are a century old.

I like the Christmas card best because of the birds flying toward the Julenek attached to the ridgepole of the little house.

A Julenek, which means "Christmas sheaf," is a sheaf of grain --- oats or wheat --- traditionally attached on Christmas morning to a pole like that shown on the card, or attached to a pole driven into the ground, or just hung somewhere. The idea was (and is) to provide a Christmas meal for the birds, too.

The Julenek in various sizes remains a popular holiday decoration in Norway, although I'm guessing somewhat disassociated now from its original purpose as food and shelter for feathered friends.

The equivalent here would be to make sure that the bird feeders are full on Christmas morning.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Those are beautiful frames for your postcards.