Thoughts and assorted philosophical musing about: Family, Friends, Fun, Hobbies, & other everyday things.
My continuing efforts to serve as a First Sergeant (Top) in the Army of God.
My latest interest is in Letterboxing.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

This and That

We really enjoyed having ALL of my family in for the Thanksgiving Day Weekend. Did I mention that Loren, my eldest son, is a chef. He came up with some really good dishes for us to enjoy. Most of the leftovers are now gone except for some turkey. My brother was with us for dinner and our 27 year old "baby" son also brought his girlfriend.

I pretty much stayed home except for some time that I enjoyed letterboxing with my Grandson. Although he is not yet in the first grade he is an excellent reader. He is really quit precocious and enjoys reading the clues and trying to figure them out. He located two boxes that I had planted and one other that did not require a long walk in the cold.

In order to accommodate everyone's schedules we celebrated on Friday Night. Of course on Friday morning and on Saturday folks were running out to take advantage of the sales. My daughters family and my wife rode downtown on the rapid to shop and see all the Christmas fal-da-rah. They all seemed to enjoy that.

Last month Donna and I spent a Saturday Morning helping to distribute food at our church for "Angel Food Ministries", a food cost reduction program. We enjoyed the opportunity to be with other like minded folks and to help reduce the burden on our neighbors that has been created by our current economy. We are planning on doing it again this month. There is no need requirement for this program, it is open to everyone. We are also considering placing an order ourselves.

Wednesday I had an appointment with my cardiologist to see if the changes we made in my medications and lifestyle were doing any good. In the past using most diuretics has yanked my potassium down to dangerous levels so it must be monitored closely. Everything checked out, we have reduced the strain but have a long way to go. I must continue to try reducing the risk factors, but I will never be out of the woods, the heart is just too far gone.

When I was young my Aunt Bessie would make her special imprinted Christmas cookies which she would then share with us. When she passed away my mother inherited her molds. Mom then gave them to me when she learned that I still had such fond memories of the cookies. These "Springerle" cookies are an old tradition of Germanic people which I enjoy. I have acquired additional molds including one with scenes depicting the 12 days of Christmas.It is time to start preparing them for Christmas as they must age for about two weeks to reach their peak. Yesterday while gathering stuff together I discovered an article on the origin of "The 12 days of Christmas". I found it interesting enough that I want to share it with you.

In the church, “Christmas” refers to a 12-day period that starts with Christmas day.
This is the story of the origin of the lyrics of
The Twelve Days of Christmas

The world celebrates Christmas for twelve hours, but the Church celebrates it for twelve days because the gift of Christ is with us for twelve months of the year. When most people hear of “The 12 days of Christmas” they think of the song.
The song had its origins as a teaching tool to instruct young people in the meaning and content of the Christian faith.

From 1558 to 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not able to practice their faith openly so they had to find other ways to pass on their beliefs. They were prohibited from any practice of their faith by law – private or public. It was a crime to be a Catholic. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written in England as one of the “catechism songs” to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith – a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in “writing” indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could get you imprisoned… or worse.

The song’s GIFTS are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith:

The “true love” doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, but rather refers to God Himself.
The “me” who receives the presents refers to a Christian.

1. The “partridge in a pear tree” is Jesus Christ, who died on a tree as a gift from God.
2. The “two turtle doves” - the Old and New Testaments, another gift from God.
3. The “three French hens” - faith, hope and love –
the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (I Corinthians 13).
4. The “four calling birds” - the four Gospels that sing the song
of salvation through Jesus Christ.
5. The “five golden rings” - the first 5 books of the Bible, called the “Books of Moses.”
6. The “six geese a-laying” - the six days of creation.
7. The “seven swans a-swimming” - “seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
(I Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, I Peter 4:10-11)
8. The “eight maids a-milking” - the eight beatitudes.
9. The “nine ladies dancing” - nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)
10. The “ten lords a-leaping” - the Ten Commandments.
11. The “eleven pipers piping” - the eleven faithful disciples.
12. The “twelve drummers drumming” - the twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed.

Source: Anderson Independent-Mail newspaper, SC, Jan. 21, 1996,
Dr Wm. Hunter; article by Fr. Hal Stockert, Fishnet.


Unknown said...

What great memories you have of those cookies. They'll mean even more to me now.

Gene said...

How cool that you have those presses for the cookies!!!! What a great memory to have and to be able to pass on, glad Thanksgiving was so nice, and I hope Christmas is a blessing for all of you. Dot