Monday, December 16, 2013

Kringle Thingles 15-17

Day 15-The 12 Days of Christmas

On Sunday, the boys found Kringle with some fun advent calendars. It does a 12 Days of Christmas countdown with the Bible. (They should have started the 13, but they were out of town...they didn't care that they were off a few days :))

I just love the symbolism of the 12 Days of Christmas song.

For almost 300 years, it was against the law in England to be a member of the Catholic Church. In order for the Catholic parents to teach their children, they had to be creative.

As legend says, hat is where the song, The 12 Days of Christmas comes in. Parents used a special code in songs, so that they could teach their children about Christmas.

-"My True Love" = God & the giver of all of the gifts listed in the song.
-A Partridge in a Pear Tree = Jesus, who gave His life on a tree for us.
-Two Turtle Doves = the Old & New Testaments
-Three French Hens = faith, hope, & love
-Four Calling Birds = the gospel-Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John
-Five Golden Rings = the first five books of the Bible-the Pentateuch
-Six Geese a Laying = the six days of creation
-Seven Swans a Swimming = seven gifts of the Spirit (Rom 12:6-8)
-Eight Lords a Leaping = the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-10)
-Nine Ladies Dancing = the fruits I the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
-Ten Lords a Leaping = the Ten Commandments
-Eleven Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
-Twelve Drummers Drumming = the 12 points of the Apostles Creed

Who knows how true this legend is, but I do like all the things represented by the song!


Day 16-Baking

Baking goes hand-in-hand with Christmas. Giving food as a gift has become a great way for people to show others love. It almost seems to have become a "love language." In the ministry, people love us in that way all the time! From inviting us to eat a meal with them, to baking our family entire cakes, we definitely get loved on through food. We love it! (Our waist-lines, not so much! ;))

The tradition of holiday baking began hundreds of years ago. Back in the day, Christmas Eve was a day of fasting, so by Christmas morning, everyone was really hungry & wanted to break their fast with something special. They took their usual breakfast of porridge, a thick bland cereal, & got creative with it. They began adding dried fruit & honey to the porridge to make it yummy & special for Christmas. With all these extras, the mixture became stiff & thick, so the cooks would wrap it in a cloth & dip it into a pot of boiling water & TaDa! Christmas pudding!

Later, in the sixteen hundreds, wheat flour replaced the porridge & eggs were added to hold it all together & that is where the interesting invention of fruitcake came from!
When the terms "cake" & "bread" became interchangeable, they called it fruit bread. Sometimes they would add ginger to the mixture to commemorate the gifts of the Magi. (The author says so maybe fruitcake & gingerbread are cousins! Seriously interesting!)

The word Bethlehem (the birthplace of Jesus) literally means "house of bread." In that very town, a baby was born who would be the Bread of Life! He nourishes us with love, hope, grace, healing, forgiveness...I could go on!

I love Welchel's (Truth in the Tinsel) thoughts when she says that whenever we're baking this season, when we smell the great smells, to remember the Bread of Life who gave "Himself for us, an offering & a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." (Eph. 5:2)


Day 17-Wrapping Gifts

In 17th century Germany, parents would give children Christ-bundles at Christmastime. It was a package that usually included fruit, nuts, cakes, an educational toy & a "Christ-rod" to remind the children to be good.

Before the 1800s these gifts were almost always handmade, but by the end of the 1800s, people started buying small factory-made trinkets from stores, removed the price tag, & would wrap the gift to give away. 

We hear the truisms: "It's the thought that counts," or, "It's what's on the inside that counts." It couldn't be said better of the very first Christmas gift who came wrapped in swaddling clothes.

"The greatest gift of all was wrapped in human flesh so that He might be able to wrap all humanity in His outstretched arms of love."

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