Christmas with parrots

Director´s view

Miroslav Bobek  |  21. 12. 2019

Years ago, we got a beautiful fir tree for Christmas. It wasn’t until the tumult of Christmas afternoon that it was lamentably revealed that the tree’s diameter greatly exceeded the diameter of the stand and we had no tool at home to whittle down the trunk. The problem was finally resolved by a machete borrowed from the neighbour, although at times it was not entirely clear why exactly he had a machete at home.

Photo: Khalil Baalbaki Photo: Khalil Baalbaki

In recent years, the only thing that has been a bit of an issue in our house has been decorating the tree. For example, which ornaments to use and where to put them. Some of the figures gave me a bit of a problem, especially the glass pipe. But ever since it broke and various imported ornaments, often as not made of plastic, have flooded the market, I have not raised any objection to Christmas decorations that are made of handblown glass, especially if they are made in the Czech Republic.

But please don’t go thinking that we have some kind of pell-mell on our tree. Far from it! Over the years, my wife has amassed a beautiful collection of glass Christmas decorations that allows us to decorate the tree in a different fashion every year. In fact, my wife has almost the same weakness for Christmas decorations as she has for Christmas pastry cutters. We always start shopping for them at the summer fair in Mnichovo Hradiště.

It was during one of these shopping trips, that my wife observed that cutters in the shape of exotic animals might be an interesting souvenir from the zoo. We actually ordered them a few years ago and they worked great. When I gave them away as part of the New Year’s wishes, I received thanks from half the world.

Back home, we wondered if it wouldn’t be worthwhile making some zoo-themed Christmas decorations. But that’s just one of many ideas that fell by the wayside along with, for instance, a glass paperweight with polar bears that would snow. Until recently. As I was driving through a village in North Bohemia this summer, I was intrigued by the “Christmas House”. I stopped and went to look inside. It had long shelves filled with glass Christmas ornaments, which - it turned out – had been painted in the neighbouring workshop. I glanced around at the vast array of ornaments on offer, and then it struck me – why not ask about glass animals.

A few days later, of all the variety in the zoo, we chose handblown parrots. After all, we’d just been putting the finishing touches to Rákos’ House, so what else could it be? We ordered six types for our souvenir shops, all of them wonderfully hand-painted: yellow-billed and red-tailed amazons, Lear’s macaws, austral parakeets, burrowing parrots and Pesquet’s parrots.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, with or without our glass parrots! And may it be as peaceable as possible!