This post may contain affiliate links.
I love finding a great simple Christmas gift to give out to friends, neighbors or teachers at this time of year. My Mom and I decided to put this Scandinavian traditional gift together this year! It is a pack of bird seed for them to feed the birds in the yard this Winter.
If you are a teacher, this could also be a fun way to teach kids about Christmas traditions around the world!
Did you know that it is a Scandinavian tradition to feed the birds on Christmas morning? They believe that it will bring them good luck in the New Year.
This tradition came about because they wanted a way to prevent the birds from getting into their stores of grain, so they would bundle up their last sheaf of grain (called a julenek) and out front on a pole or other rooftop for the birds. This would distract them from their greater grain storage, but still show kindness to the birds who need food in a harsh winter. I love this idea so much!
Now, who doesn’t want a little luck this coming year? Am I right?!
To Make This Easy Christmas Gift
We sewed our bags for our Christmas gift with scraps of Christmas fabric we already had. My mom basically has a fabric store in her house! 😉 It comes in handy! We sewed simple little bags with a piece of ribbon to tie it closed. You can also simplify this by buying some pre-made Christmas bags.
Fill the bag with birdseed. We put it into a ziplock bag to keep it contained then put that bag inside the fabric one. You can get a bag of birdseed at most stores. We found a great big box at Costco that will help us feed the birds all winter long!
Print out the little gift tag and attach to your bag of birdseed with a cute matching ribbon.
I came across this lovely poem about the tradition of feeding the birds at Christmas time.
The Julenek (Christmas Sheaf) – Anonymous
Far over in Norway’s distant realm,
That land of ice and snow,
Where the winter nights are long and drear,
And the north winds fiercely blow,
From many a low-thatched cottage roof,
On Christmas eve, ’tis said,
A sheaf of grain (julenek) is hung on high,
To feed the birds o’erhead.
In years gone by, on Christmas eve,
When the day was nearly o’er,
Two desolate, starving birds flew past
A humble peasant’s door.
“Look! Look!” cried one, with joyful voice
And a piping tone of glee:
“In that sheaf there is plenteous food and cheer,
And the peasant had but three.
One he hath given to us for food,
And he hath but two for bread,
But he gave it with smiles and blessings,
‘For the Christ-child’s sake,’ he said.”