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A Quieter Holiday

By Laura Doering

The holidays in my home start with the Christmas tree. Last year, I nixed the traditional tree for a fiber-optic one. The box said, “Celebrate the holidays with dancing lights and festive music.” Problem is, the tree only has one volume range: ear-piercing! Plug in the tree and it’s an instant party of flashing lights and five, souped-up Muzak-style versions of holiday classic songs.

Last year, the tree started the season on a table near the bird room because that offered the best space. But by the end of the day, because of Ollie’s high-pitched protest screech, the tree was moved to the top of our wicker storage basket on the far end of the room. But it was still too close for comfort for the birds. By the end of the week, the tree was in the kids’ bedroom, but it had to be moved because my then 3-year-old son couldn’t resist repeatedly hitting the music’s play button. The rock-concert loud versions of “Joy To The World!” drove everyone crazy.

The tree sat unplugged for a couple of days until I finally figured out how to disable the music option. The tree was returned to its original spot within my birds’ view, and I was amused to see that Ollie liked to dance to the blinking rhythm of the lights.

I’ve had to re-think how we celebrate the holidays in other ways as well so as not to make the birds go “Bah humbug.” I’ve replaced the strings of plastic holly with strings of popcorn dyed with food coloring just in case my cockatiel decides to nibble on holiday decorations during his out-of-cage time. And Santa has to come when the birds are covered all snug in their cages. That red suit, big red hat and long beard ... my brother learned the hard way that some parrots don’t like disguises after being charged at by my Amazon parrot. I plan on following Chris Davis’ holiday tips (Pg. 10) to spread good cheer within my flock this season.

 **Want to read the magazine? Pick up the December 2010 issue of BIRD TALK at your local retailer or by purchasing a PDF download here.**

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