Cardinal Birds and the Christmas Connection

Of all the Christmas symbols, one that has long puzzled yet charmed me is a pretty little bird we call the Cardinal.

Originally, I believed that the association between Cardinals and Christmas was the way their scarlet feathers add a beautiful burst of color against a mostly gray or white winter landscape.

However, upon further research, (I am pretty nerdy, you know) I discovered that while these are both true, there are other, albeit mostly modern connections between Christmas and the Cardinal. 

Red evolved into a universally-recognized color for Christmas as a symbol of the blood of Christ which He shed to redeem all of mankind. The cardinal’s vibrant crimson is a lovely reminder to focus on our faith in His atonement and the hope and peace that it brings.  To quote Bronners Christmas Wonderland, 25 Christmas Lane, Frankenmuth, Michigan, even a “glimpse of this brilliant bird brings cheer, hope and inspiration on a gray, wintry day.” In addition, unlike most northern birds, Cardinals don’t migrate south for the winter, so they stay home year round making them one of the few types of birds one might see during the Christmas season.

So, somewhere in the not-so-distant past, the Cardinal was christened a Christmas bird. Today, the cardinal represents constancy no matter the season like the constancy of God’s love, and the atoning sacrifice of his Son which gives us peace and hope in this life and in the next.

Regardless, I hope glimpses of this bird with stunning red plumage has a cheering effect on you.




Think About Christmas 



6 thoughts on “Cardinal Birds and the Christmas Connection

  1. Jennifer Griffith says:

    I love this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Nancy says:

    Lovely birds. never wondered why they were on Christmas cards– they always look so good against snow– besides I know two people who collect china, clothes, and everything else that features a cardinal. I do think the birds were used because of their beauty and a religious reason thought up later. Doesn’t matter– “a thing of beauty is a joy forever,”

  3. Betty says:

    Love my cardinals. Have a couple of pairs at the bird feeder today. They really like the peanut butter/suet balls I hang outside. I wonder, do you suppose that “Santa Claus” is pictured in red because of the symbolism of the color?

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