I woke Christmas morning at
7 a.m. not to see what was under the tree but it was bright and my body woke me then. I had gone to bed at 5 a.m. Much hadn't
changed since I was eight years old on Christmas eve. Elizabeth finally awoke at 10 a.m. It was time now to give her one of
her additional presents. There would be 12 in all for the twelve days of Christmas starting Christmas day. I gave her a lovely
braclet on Christmas Eve for Christmas itself. The first present of which you hear more of as we move through the days was
5 colourful pairs of silly soft socks. Some of the gifts are simple and others more expensive and not so simple. I spend
a lot of time figuring out what to get her for these 12 days.
In all started when we spent
a month in Sicily at Christmas time one year. It was a determining trip that we could live together or not and it worked.
I dreamt up this clever sceme to give a present for the 12 days of Christmas that starts on the Christmas Day and ends on
the day of the Epiphany January 6th.
In the Western church,
Epiphany is usually celebrated as the time the Wise Men or Magi arrived to present gifts to the young Jesus. Traditionally
there were three Magi, probably from the fact of three gifts, even though the biblical narrative never says how many Magi
came. In some cultures, especially Hispanic and Latin American culture, January 6th is observed as Three Kings Day,
or simply the Day of the Kings (Span: la Fiesta de Reyes, el Dia de los Tres Reyes, or el Dia de los Reyes
Magos; Dutch: Driekoningendag).
The urban myth behind the
12 days is as follows.
On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Partridge in a Pear Tree
partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of
Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from
her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How
often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ."
On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
The Old and
New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story
of God to the world.
On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
The Three Theological
Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love
On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself
in Jesus Christ.
On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah
or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's
sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.
On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world
On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion
On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake.
On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,
6) generosity, 7) faithfulness,
8) gentleness, and 9) self-control.
On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods
before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and
mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet.
On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew,
3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas
bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to
the religious leaders and the Romans.
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the
Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended
into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the
Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church,
9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.
made me breakfast of two eggs, Italian sausage, sliced tomatoes, toast and coffee. Fabulous just what I wanted for Christmas
breakfast. Only one things was missing artifical sugar for the coffee. We had dilemma. Do we go and buy a box of artificial
sugar or do we steal a number of packets from Denny's or some other coffee shop when we visit it. It is a conflict that applies
to all items in all restaurants when it comes to seniors in Florida. Do I help myself or go shopping for the item?
I tell the story of often with couples there is a pointer
and a setter. On vacation one person wants to go out and adventure on vacation while the other likes to sit on the beach.
Understanding this comment will help you understand why I dropped Elizabeth off at our pied de terre on the beach and I went
off on a photo safari. I passed by and inquired about fishing at a small harbour. Gaining the information I ended up taking
pictures of the boats, a pelican and one of the large tour boats. On to a parking lot next to an art school they had painted
art on the parking curbs all over the parking lot. I then found a beautiful neighborhood on many canals and shot a large
number of pictures in that area. A visit to Los Olos Blvd resulted in some interesting pictures of the architecture in the
area. I remembered a small canal nearby and ducks and other birds hung out in this area. Sure enough they were there and I
got some great photographs. On the way back I managed to get some shots of the local extended bus that looks like it was designed
by an art deco consultant.
It was Christmas day and Elizabeth wanted a turkey dinner.
As luck would have it we found one two blocks away. It was delicious. When we went back to our van it was parked in front
of a store titled Diamonds and Puppies. In the window were four puppies in their various glass cages. Each one cuter then
the next. We realized we really missed our three little guys back at home.
With that warm thought we headed home and to bed.