Twelve Days

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A quick quiz: On what December date do the twelve days of Christmas begin?

The elves here in Carpenter Country, always ahead of the curling ribbon, assumed December 13th.

Wrong.

As many of you who are smart enough to never assume anything know, the twelve days of Christmas fall between December 25th and January 6th–a tradition thought to have originated at the end of the 4th century. Today each of the world’s regions and religions has individual rituals and customs that take place during these days.

Another famous twelve, the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, was written in a later century. The exact date seems to be in dispute, and there’s also disagreement about the lyrics and their meaning.

Us elves in Carpenter Country, while wondering why people find it so hard to get along with each other even during the Christmas season, made up our own twelve-item list of holiday fun. Here it is, in no particular order: Santa Claus, poinsettias, caroling, gift giving, tree trimming, mistletoe kissing, holly decorating, card writing, thankfulness, good food, good friends and lots of wassailing.

It’s our opinion that wassailing leaves less time for disagreements.

On this almost-here Noel we offer our wishes for peace on earth and good will toward all.

And may the world sip from the wassail cup more often.

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