NORTH AUGUSTA --- After five years of gathering children to plaster bird seed, peanut butter and lard onto pine cones, the Christmas for the Birds tradition still feels fresh to organizers.
Lynn Thompson, Living History Park chairwoman, said she always enjoys watching parents roll up their sleeves to get dirty and have a good time with their children.
"One of the things I always love to do is watch the younger children who are learning to count while they count cranberries and popcorn (for garland)," said Thompson.
Christmas for the Birds is the park's way of taking care of local wildlife for the winter.
"This time of year you have to make sure birds have fresh water, especially when we don't have as much rain like we do now," Thompson said. "And now's the time to make the combination of peanut butter, bird seed and lard because they need that fat."
This year's event will feature two Colonial re-enactors as slaves who will share what Christmas was like for their families.
Story time will include a craft for children.
"Christmas is so commercialized now, but back then that time was to have family together, eat good food and maybe get a new piece of clothing," said Thompson.
Paul Koehler, with the Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, will be there to talk about the area's wildlife. Donations for Molly's Militia and local animal shelters will be taken.
Thompson said the best part of the event is to return later that evening or the next day to see all the goodies picked off the tree.
Birds' spring nests also usually have bits of the red string used to hang the pinecones and garland.
"It's like every bird in North Augusta got the message that there was a feast," she said.