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Sunday, 21 December 2014

No (Writing) Lessons Today, Just A Christmas Carol...

By Xavier Romero-Frias 
Merry Christmas, and/or a Happy Holiday to everybody! Writing goes on all the time, but this week there's a bit of wriggle-room so Part Two of Birth Of A Book will be here in the New Year. You can catch up with Part One in the series here

I’m not sure how many people actually wait until 26th December (officially the First Day Of Christmas) to start singing The Twelve Days Of Christmas. Otherwise known as Boxing Day (when you pack up all your old stuff) or St Stephen’s Day, it’s always been a popular time for getting busy: that's when Good King Wenceslas went out, for a start.  For more about him, sign up at the "Subscribe" section above to follow this blog—his Majesty will be making a guest appearance in a few days' time.  

Just in case there’s anyone who isn’t familiar with the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, it begins...
“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A partridge in a Pear Tree.”

For the next eleven days, the author's generous present-giver showers their true love with gifts, from the practical to the bizarre. Here’s the rest of the shopping list: 

Partridge, by Keith Williamson
2 turtle doves, 
3 French hens, 
4 calling birds, 
5 gold rings,
6 geese a-laying, 
7 swans a -swimming, 
8 maids a-milking, 
9 ladies dancing, 
10 lords a-leaping, 
11 pipers piping, and finally... 
12 drummers drumming. 

Five gold rings would be a great present, but if the Queen can manage with only one piper piping to wake her up each morning, eleven  of them must be far too much of a good thing. 

Actress Penelope Keith once appeared on BBC Radio as Miss Sarah Truelove, whose Alpha male Bill had the bright idea of sending her everything on the list, day by day.  Chaos followed: the neighbours went mad, the lords and milkmaids got too friendly with each other, birds got trampled by the cows, and the only winners were Messrs. Sue, Pillage and Plunder—the law firm brought in to sort it all out.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AChristmas_tree_bauble.jpg
By Kris de Curtis
If any of you fancy copying the gesture—be warned, it will cost. When a financial institution added up the items listed in the song a few years ago, it came to over fifteen thousand pounds ($24k dollars)! It might sound like a romantic gesture but think of the noise, the smell, and the amount of room all those animals and people would take up.



On balance, I think I’d prefer my twelve daily gifts to come in the form of chocolate.  It’s quiet, sweet, easy to handle, and it’s loved by just about everyone.

Happy Christmas!