13 December 2010

Personal Touch

Welcome to the Neighborhood News

This month Personal Touch celebrates Christmas with a special series on the Life and Miracles of Jesus Christ. Last week we explored the miracle of the Savior's birth, this week to gain a deeper understanding of the Savior's childhood, we talk with Brigham Young University Church History and Doctrine professor Dr. Susan Easton Black who recently published 400 Questions and Answers About the Life and Times of Jesus Christ. She is a past Associate Dean of General Education and Honors and Director of Church History in the Religious Studies Center at BYU. Dr. Black has been the recipient of numerous academic awards. She is married to Harvey B. Black. She is currently serving as a ward Gospel Doctrine teacher.

Web: http://religion.byu.edu/Susan_Black

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I believe that one of the most misunderstood traditions in this holiday season is the one about the Twelve Days of Christmas. Since popular belief says they start today, let’s comment on it.

I grew up celebrating it, even though I didn’t even know that’s what it was called. When I was a little girl growing up in Argentina, the best day about Christmas was actually January 6, when the Wise Men or Magi would come and leave a present on my polished clean and carefully laid out shoes, by my bedroom door. How many times did I imagine hearing their camels (not reindeer) making noises outside the house!

There’s symbolism in every single one of the presents in the song, even if some people think they are a bit odd and not related to Christmas.

Advent is a season of preparation, of joy and hope for the coming of the baby that will be the Redeemer of the world. Epiphany happens 12 days after the birth of the Savior. If you start counting on December 25th, then the evening of January 5th is the 12th night and January 6th is the 12th day of Christmas.

In most countries around the world where they still celebrate the old traditions, that’s when the Wise Men came to deliver presents to the newborn baby. And people believed there were three Wise Men just because He was given three presents. In South America and Spain, it’s called Dia de los Reyes Magos (Day of the Kings).

The song was created to teach young children about the tenets of the Catholic church. And these are the meanings:

 1 Partridge in the Pear Tree= Jesus Christ, the Son of God

 2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

 3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues

 4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

 5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch.”

 6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation

7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments


 8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes

 9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments

11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles

12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Because some people love to surprise friends during the next twelve days, we have a few suggestions for you today. First, one of the featured articles in the newsletter has ideas for your kid’s teachers, and then, check out these other two entries: here and here.
Sources: here, here and here.

To view a copy of the Neighborhood News for Monday, 13 December, please click here.

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