Up and Down
Off the Wall, Dec
26, 2013

If ever there was as a contraction that was is used in poem referencing Christmas, it has to be “twas.”It’s the title and also the first line of “Twas the Night before Christmas.’

But there are others who have taken upon themselves to deviate a bit from the meaning of this beautiful poetic verse by Clement Clark Moore and come up with their own message of sorts that should linger in people’s minds.

Before I get into what wish to convey, I believes it behooves me to state that “twas” actually stands for “it was.” But here we have this compilation of two words that could be telling of something that is happening now or something that happened already.

In my poetic verses, I first I talk about something that’s in the present. I probably could have used “is” instead of “was,” but I wanted my thoughts to sound similar to Mr. Moore’s masterpiece. Second, I accent one of my “beefs,” putting up decorations, for example, and then taking them down too quickly, or what I refer to as the “ups and downs” of the season. In my opinion, this only proves that some people are not knowledgeable just how long the season of Christmas lasts.

Because of space issues, I have to write my message of poetic form broken by forward slashes (/) indicators. It is hoped that one will not have any trouble understanding my message today.

“It was the day after Christmas and all through the house, Not a kid was seen stirring, not even a mouse./The stockings once hung By the chimney with care, Were pulled from the mantle Not present up there./The lights and the tree had vanished this night, no presence, no glimmer, That ray of hope’s light./ The little Lord Jesus In a crib He once laid, was carefully boxed in Blankets crocheted./ All lights that were strung, Whether red, white or green, Were all taken down, No place to be seen./Gone are the animals that watched from nearby, All senses something special Where the Christ child did lie./What happened to carols On radios aired? They told of His coming, And the fact that He cared./ Instead, we hear music Of struggles and strife, A world’s that’s reaching To find meaning in life./ It’s the day after Christmas With eleven to go. The sun may be shining Amidst the new fallen snow. / Dad may be resting, Mom’s making stew, the kids are heard whimpering, “There’s nothing to do!”/Are we not celebrating Christmas, a time of great joy, the birth of our Savior, Mary’s son her baby boy?/ Instead, let’s gather the clauses, elves and reindeer, Let tell of Christ’s great love, And spread blessed cheer!”

I credit the Holy Spirit for giving me insight for the above.

At the present, we find ourselves among the twelve day of Christmas. I chanced upon an explanation concerning the song with that same title. One website stated that, according to myth, it was created as a coded reference for Catholic youth to learn tenets of their faith.

The truth is revealed in www.snopes.com. According its website, “It is possible that “The Twelve Days of Christmas “ has been confused with (or is a transformation of) a song called, ‘A New Dial,’ (also known ‘In Those Days’) which dates to at least 1625 and assigns religious meanings to each of the 12 days of Christmas (but not for the purposes of teaching a catechism).”

It goes on to state, ‘“The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is what most people take it to be: a secular song that celebrates the Christmas season with imagery of gifts and dancing and music. Some misinterpretations have crept into the English version over the years, though. For example, the fourth day’s gift is four ‘colly’ birds, not four calling birds. (The word ‘colly’ literally means black as coal, and thus ‘colly birds’ would be blackbirds). The ‘five golden rings’ refers not to five pieces of jewelry, but to the five ring-necked birds (such as pheasants).

The twelve days in the song are the 12 days between the birth of Christ, December 25, and the coming of the Magi (Epiphany, Jan. 5). This is when the traditional season ends. But liturgically, Christmas isn’t over until Jan. 12, “the baptism of our Lord.”

The party goes on! Keep those decorations up, celebrate the coming of our Lord, and continue to wish everyone a merry Christmas!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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