Family storytelling is one tradition of Christmas that continues on into modern times. From the story that led to "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to the tales told in your home when you were a child, the season is ripe with stories to pick at your leisure. There's also one you probably haven't heard of: the age old Christmas legend of the Christmas Robin. The robin is a traditional symbol of Christmas in England, but his legend goes even deeper than that.
Learn the full tale of the Christmas Robin. Share this story with your family. On the night of the first noel, a robin bird faced the bitter cold so that the Christ child could rest. The robin flapped his wings really hard while staying very close to the fire in order to keep the fire going so the child could stay warm. In trying to light a dimming fire, the red on the robin's breast was said to be made permanent that night as a symbol of beauty and honor for such a noble deed. Louise Betts Egan wrote about some of this in "A Christmas Stocking."
Have your child draw pictures of the Christmas Robin. You can hang these on your fridge for a Christmas decorated refrigerator. You can even stash these in with your Christmas cards, alongside a written tale of the legendary bird.
Talk about the moral of the tale. The story, in order to be fully grasped, should be discussed at length. A child may have trouble comprehending the full kindness of the bird, but, after a discussion, it will make more sense. Compare the robin's actions to things you have done in your own life to help others. Explain how good doing such things felt to you. Bringing this discussion up every Christmas season will help invoke the spirit of Christmas.
Ask your child what he could do around the season to help others like the robin helped Jesus. Your child's imagination--and generous spirit--will likely kick into high gear. Listen to his ideas. If none of them seem practical, suggest a few of your own. He will pick up on the ideas you have. Some things you could do to celebrate the robin's spirit of kindness is to pick out a toy for a needy child. Almost all malls and area non-profits host trees for children whose parents or caregivers cannot afford presents. You could suggest that your whole family volunteer at a kitchen to feed the homeless and hungry. You could also explain how your child could give an extra portion of his allowance in a tithe or donation to a local organization that stands for a good cause.
Place a figurine of a robin upon or beside your fireplace. This calls upon the legend itself, and it's a reminder to be thankful of the heat and warmth that your family is blessed with.
Place robin-themed Christmas ornaments on your tree. It will make you smile and recall the legend every time you pass by your decorative tree.