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Raise a glass to the 12 Days of Christmas...

federicafederica seeker of the clear blue skyIts better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
edited December 2017 in General Banter

On the first day of christmas my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree!

25th December.
My dearest darling,
That partridge, in that lovely little pear tree! What an enchanting, romantic, poetic present! Bless you and thank you.
Your deeply loving Emily.

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    On the second day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Two turtle doves...

    26th December.
    Mr dearest darling Edward,
    The two turtle doves arrived this morning and are cooing away in the pear tree as I write. I'm so touched and grateful.
    With undying love, as always, Emily.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2017

    On the third day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Three french hens...

    27th December.
    My darling Edward,
    You do think of the most original presents: whoever thought of sending anybody three French hens?! Do they really come all the way from France? It's a pity that we have no chicken coops, but I expect we'll find some. Thank you, anyway, they're lovely.
    Your loving Emily.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2017

    On the fourth day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Four calling birds...

    28th December.
    Dearest Edward,
    What a surprise - four calling birds arrived this morning. They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly - they make telephoning impossible. But I expect they'll calm down when they get used to their new home. Anyway, I'm very grateful - of course I am.
    Love from Emily.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2017

    On the fifth day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Five gold rings...!

    29th December.
    Dearest Edward,
    The postman has just delivered five most beautiful gold rings, one for each finger, and all fitting perfectly! A really lovely present - lovelier in a way than birds, which do take rather a lot of looking after. The four that arrived yesterday are still making a terrible row, and I'm afraid none of us got much sleep last night. Mummy says she wants us to use the rings to 'wring' their necks - she's only joking, I think; though I know what she means. But I love the rings. Bless you.
    Love, Emily.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    On the sixth day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Six geese a-laying...

    30th December.
    Dear Edward,
    Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door this morning, it certainly wasn't six bloody great geese laying eggs all over the sodding doorstep. Frankly, I rather hoped you had stopped sending me birds - we have no room for them and they have already ruined the croquet lawn. I know you meant well, but - let's call a halt, shall we?
    Love, Emily.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    On the seventh day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Seven swans a-swimming...

    31st December.
    Edward:
    I thought I said no more birds; but this morning I woke up to find no less than seven fucking swans all trying to get into our tiny goldfish pond. I'd rather not even think what must happened to the goldfish. The whole house seems to be full of birds - to say nothing of what they leave behind them. Please, please - STOP.
    Your Emily.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    On the eighth day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Eight maids a-milking...

    1st January.
    Oh my God. Frankly, I think I prefer the birds. What am I to do with eight milkmaids - AND their sodding cows? Is this some kind of a joke?! If so, I'm afraid I don't find it very amusing.
    Emily

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    On the ninth day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Nine ladies dancing...

    Now look here Edward, this has gone far enough. You say you're sending me nine ladies dancing; all I can say is that judging from the way they dance, they're certainly not ladies. The village just isn't accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless hussies with nothing on but their lipstick cavorting round the green - and it's Mummy and I who get blamed. If you value our friendship - which I do less and less - kindly stop this ridiculous behaviour at once.
    Emily.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2017

    On the tenth day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Ten lords a-leaping...

    3rd January.
    Mt Pratt: As I write this letter, ten disgusting, drunken old men are prancing about all over what used to be the garden - before the geese and the swans and the cows got at it; and several of them, I notice, are taking inexcusable liberties with the milkmaids. Meanwhile the neighbours are trying to have us evicted. I hate you. I shall never speak to you again.
    Emily

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    On the eleventh day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Eleven pipers piping...

    4th January.
    This is the last straw....! You're insane! You know I detest bagpipes! The place has now become something between a menagerie and a madhouse and a man from the Council has just declared it unfit for habitation! At least Mummy has been spared this last outrage; they took her away yesterday afternoon in an ambulance! Well I hope you're satisfied!!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2017

    On the twelfth day of christmas my true love sent to me
    Twelve drummers drumming....!

    5th January.
    To the Right Hon. E Pratt.
    Sir,
    Our client, Miss Emily Wilbraham, instructs me to inform you that with the arrival on her premises at half-past seven this morning, of the entire percussion section of the London Philharmonic Orchestra - together with several other friends - she states that regretfully, she has no course left open to her but to seek an injunction to prevent your importuning her further. I am making arrangements for the return of much assorted livestock, and trust you will ensure the correct psychiatric care will be meted out to all and sundry, particularly the 8 innocent Milking Maids who are themselves seeking damages for sexual harassment and inappropriate attention. Such are the times.

    I am, Sir, Yours faithfully,
    G.CREEP
    Solicitor-at-law

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2017

    6th January.
    To the Right Hon. E Pratt.
    Sir,
    Miss Wilbraham, the aforementioned Plaintiff, begs me to point out to you that having sent her 4 CALLING birds (possibly Minahs, definitely exuberant in their defecatory habits), they should actually have been blackbirds, the original stanza describing them as 'Colly' (meaning coal-coloured, or black), not 'Calling'. She is however, grateful for the apparently errant state of your knowledge, as she fears you might well have sent 4-and-20 of them instead. Consider that minor discrepancy accepted.

    Yours faithfully,
    G.CREEP
    Solicitor-at-law

    personJeffrey
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    I love that one. Growing up I kind of liked the song and the many different parodies of it, then at some point I heard someone pointing out how ridiculous the gifts actually were and I never heard it the same way again. Who would want 15 birds and 57 people as a gift? 5 gold rings might be alright but the lyrics say golden rings, so it seems they are actually just some cheap fake jewelry.

    dhammachick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I could never work out if she was receiving a new gift every day, with repetition gifts of the previous days, or whether they were simply being re-listed.... Needless to say, the Internet is divided on that one, so I'm not alone...

    I do remember, when very young, that my family went to London one Christmas, with the sole intention of visiting Selfridges, Oxford Street, because they are famous for their Christmas windows. They ran the '12 Days...' as their theme, with every window depicting a new gift... so when you got to the final one it was hilariously, utterly chaotic and a complete mess & maelstrom of cows, swans, geese, birds of different feathers, and more feet, hands and faces than you could count! It was masterful, and arguably, their best effort ever.

    They start designing the Christmas 2018 in January.... with ideas already on the table as we speak.

    person
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Found this, here.....

    "Most people wrongly believe that the '12 Days of Christmas' refers to the days before Christmas. However, it's really the period starting on Christmas day and finishing with the Epiphany (January 6th, when the 3 kings from 'the East' brought gifts).

    You may be familiar with the Christmas song, The 12 Days of Christmas. The first few lines go like this:

    On the first day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    A partridge in a pear tree.

    On the second day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the third day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    The song continues, adding 4 calling birds on the 4th day, 5 golden rings on the 5th, and so on up to the 12th day, when 12 drummers add to the cacophony of assorted birds, pipers and lords leaping all over the place.

    Notice that on each day there is one partridge (so I will have 12 partridges by the 12th day), and each day from the second day onwards there are 2 doves (so I will have 22 doves), and from the 3rd there are 3 hens (total of 30 hens), and so on.

    So, how many presents are there altogether?

    Partridges: 1 × 12 = 12
    Doves: 2 × 11 = 22
    Hens 3 × 10 = 30
    Calling/Colly birds: 4 × 9 = 36
    Gold(en) rings: 5 × 8 = 40
    Geese: 6 × 7 = 42
    Swans: 7 × 6 = 42
    Maids: 8 × 5 = 40
    Ladies: 9 × 4 = 36
    Lords: 10 × 3 = 30
    Pipers: 11 × 2 = 22
    Drummers: 12 × 1 = 12

    Total = 364

    We observe that we have the same number of partridges as drummers (12 of each); doves and pipers (22 of each); hens and lords (30 of each) and so on. So the easiest way to count our presents is to add up to the middle of the list and then double the result: (12 + 22 + 30 + 36 + 40 + 42) × 2 = 364."

    It never occurred to me to calculate it that way, neither have I ever realised the numerical connection between the gifts...

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I didn't bother taking my tree down on 12th Night (6th January/Epiphany) last year... Work got in the way and one day rolled into another... Then, I chanced upon this little snippet of information...

    What the above article fails to also mention, however, is that from the 25th of December, until the 1st of February, it's a 40-day period; this counterbalances the period of Lent (also 40 days) during which one fasts, abstains and restricts one's intake and modifies the behaviour to one of meditative devotion, and contemplation of one's own fragile existence and ultimate, inevitable demise...
    By contrast, Candlemas is a time of jollity, living it up, feasting, some might add gluttony, over-doing it and when the saying "Eat, drink and be Merry" would be thoroughly appropriate.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Haha! I enjoyed that, I like the song if only for being able to always yell "5 gold rings!' at the top of your lungs because that's how the school kids here sing it.

    My favorite holiday funny is the string of emails from an HR person trying to plan a party who goes nuts at the end.

  • This was hilarious!

    federicalobster
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    So, is the Advent Calendar dealy 24 days before Christmas?
    I'm sure the info about the math of it all is fascinating (but) I'm lousy at most things that involve math in most forms.

    I love singing that song even today and even though I may forget which animal comes next. As a kid, we always had an Advent Calendar up in the kitchen and I don't think I could've loved anything more than those tiny little windows that open up with glitter and sparkly designs. I think I even shut my eyes to the temptation to open them before their time!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The advent calendar SHOULD be opened on the 4th Sunday before Christmas; Traditionally, the 4 windows representing Sundays, were bigger and more spectacular than the other 'common-day' ones.
    I too remember as a child that there was none of this chocolate, cheese, mini-drink-bottle nonsense. And most calendars were either religion- or Festive-themed. Glitter, colour, pretty pictures a-plenty. A mini-story behind each door.
    Now?

    I shudder.

    Commercialism and hype have won the day.
    How many purporting to be 'Christian' really appreciate what the whole thing is supposed to be about?

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Sadly yes, it's yet another opportunity for advertising and the almighty dollar.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Till bells ring, are you listening
    In the shops, gifts are glistening

    A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight
    Shopping in a winter consumerland

    Gone away is the bluebird
    Here to stay is a new bird

    He sings a money song, as we go along
    Shopping in a winter consumerland

    In the mall we can buy a snowman
    Then pretend that he is Shopkeeper Brown

    He'll say, "Do you have cash?"
    _We'll say, "No man"

    But we have a credit card ,so don’t you frown

    Later on, we'll conspire
    As our credit starts to expire

    To face unafraid, the debts that we've made
    Shopping in a winter consumerland

    Till bells ring, are you listening
    In the shops, gifts are glistening

    And Oh what a fright, we're in more debt tonight
    Cashless in a winter consumerland

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Too much month at the end of the money....

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I doubt any of my kids could tell you the gist of what the Christmas story even is, it has never had a religious or church bent to it, for us. My kids have never even been to church other than for funerals or weddings. I simply, honestly, don't care, lol. Solstice is and always has been the focus for us as an immediate family. We give gifts, but we focus on the creative aspect and spend time decorating yule logs, making cards and gifts etc. Not that we don't buy some, but creativity is our focus and everyone enjoys finding something to make.

    The Christmas part only comes in because we have Christian family and so they insist on sticking to Christmas Eve and day celebrations. Meh. I could go without the entire mess of religion gumming up the parts I enjoy. I actually quite enjoy the story of the life of Jesus, but live around typically hypocrites who all go to church on Sunday and look down on those who don't but otherwise treat their neighbors like garbage. We focus on creativity, stories, family, food and nature. And a huge bonfire. Of course, our coldest weather of winter so far is coming just in time for the holidays, though solstice looks decent we will have temps below zero (F) for highs over Christmas and down into the -20F range at night. Brrrrrr.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2017

    Recently found out Rudolph Reindeer, who had a very shiny nose is possibly Chinese ... (this early depiction from Chinese Buddhist section, British Museum ...)

    ... it also seems Santa may have been making his reindeer skin into magic flying underwear. Ay caramba!

    Christmas cancelled, thank Buddha ... o:)

    person
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