FOXYSDEN CHRISTMAS NEWSLETTER
FOXYSDEN CHRISTMAS EDITORIAL
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" is a much loved song at Christmas time. And oh the fun of trying to remember the order and being able to sing it forward and backwards!
Do you realize that this song is a very old song - 1780?
During the centuries when it was a crime to be Catholic or Gaelic and to practice one's faith, in public or private, in Scotland, Ireland and England "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written as a "catechism song" to help youngsters learn the beliefs of their faith. It was a memory aid, for this was in a time when being caught with anything in writing indication adherence to the Catholic or Gaelic faith, could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hanged!
The song's gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song does not refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every blessed person.
When you read this, you will never sing this song the same way again...
Let me show you...
A Partridge in a pear tree = Jesus Christ, the Son of God
Two turtle doves = The Old and New Testaments
Three french hens = Faith, Hope and Charity...
Let's look at this a moment.
Faith...is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is believing in God and in the truth of His revelation.
Hope...is cherishing a desire with expectation of fulfillment.
Our hope is spending eternity with the Father!
Charity...Christian love, giving, kindness, helpfulness to the needy and suffering...All these things and more are alive in our Den Family!
Four calling birds = The four Gospels and/or the four Evangelists
Five Golden Rings = The first five books of the Old Testament
Six geese a-laying = Six days of creation
Seven Swans a swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven Sacraments
The seven gifts are
Rest, Keys of the Kingdom, Power over evil spirits, Living Water, Bread of Heaven, Eternal Life and Legacy of Peace.
Eight maids a-milking = the eight Beatitudes
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Nine ladies dancing = The nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The Fruits of the Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Long Suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance.
Ten Lords a-leaping = the Ten Commandments
Eleven pipers piping = the eleven faithful apostles
Twelve drummers drumming = The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed
Quite amazing what one song has to offer! Many of the Christmas Songs have such meaning in them. Take a few minutes of quiet time between now and Christmas and slowly read the words that we sing during this time, but really don't think about, or truly pay attention to what they mean.
God will fill you with such love, such peace, such joy and humility.
Let's look at some Christmas Traditions and Customs
For most of us, the holidays are comprised of Christmas holiday celebrations and traditions. Many of the family traditions are handed down from generation to generation. Newer traditions are adopted when families merge. This makes for some very interesting holidays! Some traditions are simple to carry out, and others require quite a lot of effort.
Without a doubt, one of the most important holiday customs in the United States is the family Christmas tree. Year after year, trees are adorned with treasured ornaments and are carefully stored once the season is over. The ornaments alone often bring back happy childhood memories and are handed down once that child is grown.
Most houses are all decked out with garland, mistletoe, and wreaths. Some families go all out and put up Christmas lights outdoors. What an amazing sight! It's these decorations that families come to love and make for a very festive atmosphere. It is such fun to jump in the car and drive the neighborhood, looking at the lights of the Holiday!
It doesn't matter if there is a fireplace in the home or not. Every child hangs a Christmas stocking out for Santa and his elves to fill up with goodies and candy canes. The bigger the stocking the better - and with size 18 shoe.... (hehe). This is usually the first thing checked on Christmas morning when the children wake, full of anticipation!
Gift giving is one of the most classic Christmas traditions ever and the merchants know it. This is the most profitable season and you will find decorations and gifts in these stores as early as August.
The custom of Christmas Cards is becoming less and less popular. With the cost of cards and postage, lists are getting shorter and shorter. The holidays are so busy and many people don't take the time anymore to send them out. Many, too, can now send them online; easier and faster to do with very little cost to the sender. It is always fun to receive a card in the mail! So if you can find it in your heart to send out a Christmas card once a year, do so and keep the tradition alive!
Oooooooo cookies and milk for Santa! Children around the world leave cookies and milk for Santa, hoping that he does not forget to eat the cookies and enjoy the milk, leaving the crumbs and an empty glass as evidence that he was there! Did you know that on farms they often leave hay out for Santa's reindeer?
Then there is the good ole' tradition of Football Games - a crucial part of the holidays!! The men are glued to the TV while the women are in the kitchen preparing the feast or cleaning up after.
Fruitcakes...have you ever received a fruitcake, or many fruitcakes and you are so excited you just can't stand it? I will tell you a secret...shhhhh... they make good last minute gifts (hehe).
Who doesn't look forward to a party? Parties are the usual Christmas tradition, whether it is with work associates, friends, or family members. It is a time for family and friends to get together, exchange gifts, and celebrate the holiday season. Often these parties are for decorating the tree and decking the halls. To help the host with food preparations is always a stress reliever for the host.....hmmmmmm did someone mention food?
Can't you smell the mouth watering aromas of cookies, candies, cakes, pies, and the smell of ham and turkey cooking, bread, and rolls, and spices that tickle the nose? The family dinner table is decorated with Christmas delight. All get seated, excited and ready to dig in, but first...we all need to calm down, take hands, bow our heads and thank God for His abundant giving, His love, and His presence in our lives each and every day! After all, the reason for the season is the birth of His Son,
Jesus - the true Christmas Spirit.
After dinner and the football games are over, and the cleaning is done, the family sits down and Grandpa or Dad opens the Bible to Luke chapter 2, and reads about the coming of the Christ Child and what that means for you and for me.
Kwanzaa is a popular African-American holiday, meaning "first fruits of the harvest." A festival of the African heritage, history, community and rituals, it was established in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a black cultural leader, in California.
From December 26th to January 1st (New Year's Day) Kwanzaa is celebrated with family and friends, however, it is not a ritual intended to replace Christmas. It is not a religious holiday, but a spiritual observance to rejoice in the African culture and meaning. This holiday is so widely accepted that people of many races will join in and celebrate with their African friends.
The seven principles of Kwanzaa represents one of each of the seven days celebrated which are the fundamentals that African-Americans wish to live by. These seven principals are Unity, Self Determination, Collective work and responsibility, Cooperative economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.
The colors that represent Kwanzaa are black, red and green. In a traditional ceremony each day, a candle is lit to symbolize one of the seven principals. participants then discuss the meaning each candle signifies. By the seventh day, all candles will be burning and a large feast is enjoyed by all.
It is traditional to celebrate this holiday with parties, music, singing and dancing. Family and friends exchange unique, homemade gifts, and reaffirm their beliefs in how they should live the upcoming new year.
Many families adorn their homes for Kwanzaa with decorations symbolic of the holiday. Decorations include African items, ears of corn, straw place mats, banners, and decorative candle holders. Centerpieces are often made, representing the fruits of the harvest.
We wish you a very happy and enjoyable Kwanzaa!
Our HA sends out this Christmas Blessing to Foxysden:
Father in Heaven, on this of all the Holy Nights, we celebrate the coming of Your Son, Jesus. At this hour is when we give tribute to Him for He was born to save mankind.
We thank you for the gift of Your Son. We may not show it at times but we do appreciate and adore Him. I, myself, have much to thank Him for...the friends that I have met, the many Blessings that have been given to me, both in prayer for family and friends, and ones that have been granted to me. For all this I thank you with all that my heart can give.
In Foxysden we have family, friends and strangers united for one purpose. To celebrate the birth of Your Son, brought together by circumstances that none could change.
Please Bless those who can not be with us and those who have passed and joined You in Your house.
God Bless us, every one!
Have a safe and memorable Christmas!
Cris, Key, Joe and Staff