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Here are Christmas odds and ends

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
Dear Mom's Corner,
My kids asked me this week where "x-mas" comes from. Do you know?
According to my research, the "x" in "x -mas" originated from the Greek spelling of Christ, which is Xristos. Sometime around the 16th century Europeans started using just the "X" as an abbreviation for Christ in Christmas.
However, now since most people don't realize that the "x" means Christ and don't capitalize it, the "x" is often seen as a sign of disrespect.
Dear Mom's Corner,
I heard that the song the "12 Days of Christmas" has a religious background. Is that true?
It depends on who you talk to. As I researched this I came up with "yes, most definitely" and "no, probably not" and "maybe."
I'm not a historian, but I did find several sources that did support that it was used to teach the basics of faith to children and to remind adults of their beliefs.
First of all, the 12 days of Christmas are actually the 12 days after Christmas from Dec. 25 to Jan. 6.
The song begins with the phrase "My true love gave to me," which is symbolic of God's love.
The first day is the partridge in a pear tree. It represents Christ and his protection of us as a mother partridge protects her young.
Day two is the two turtle doves and that refers to the Old and New Testaments. Next are the three French hens, which are the virtues of faith, hope and love.
Day four is four calling birds, which represents the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The five golden rings are the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The six geese a-laying are to remind of us the six days of creations.
Day seven is the seven swans a-swimming.
This is the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading and compassion.
Next we come to day eight. This one is the eight maids a-milking, which reminds us of the eight beatitudes: blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake.
Day nine, nine ladies dancing, is to remind us of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Day 10 is 10 lords a-leaping, referring to the Ten Commandments.
The next day is the 11 pipers piping, which represent the eleven faithful disciples. Judas Isocratic is omitted due to his betrayal of Jesus.
The last day is 12 drummers drumming. This one is meant to represent the 12 points of the Apostles' Creed.
If you would like to research these more, here are the sites I used: www.wilstar.com/xmas/massy and www.cresourcei.org/cy12days.
Thank you for the letters!
Merry Christmas!

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