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The 12 Days of Christmas by Two Congregations

December 13, 2015 Limerick, PA

This year the Reading congregation joined us in Limerick to hold a combined Christmas program…likely the best one we’ve done – ever - though there have been other great ones before. A children’s book gave us the concept: “The 12 Days of Christmas” written by Helen Haidle and illustrated by Laura Knorr, the story behind this favorite Christmas song. Children’s Ministry teachers assigned each child their number of the “Day” and asked them to work with their family on the way they would like to share its Christian meaning as expressed in the book.  Great creativity reigned; each part was both informative and entertaining. Picture just a few of the 12 Days we enjoyed:

The partridge of "the First Day of Christmas” is a simple, brown bird that likes to nest in a tree. The partridge in a pear tree symbolizes Jesus in the manger who later died for our sins on the wooden cross made from a tree.  Day 4’s “calling birds” stand for the four books of the Gospel. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote of Christ’s life and ministry. “Matthew” and “Luke” read their verses about Jesus’ birth where the angel spoke to Joseph, Mary, and to the shepherds.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas (six geese a-laying) the older of two young boys explained that eggs remind us of new life and this part of the song represents the six days of creation. His younger brother, dressed in a goose-like rain poncho, provided their finale by dropping plastic Easter eggs from under this costume. The youngest children made their debut with their family on the 8th day (maids-a-milking) dressed as a tiny cow and a spiffy milkman, as we heard the true meaning for the day.

The very young ‘ladies dancing’ in Day 9 came to the microphone dressed in ballet tutus. They told us how the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5 are cause for celebration which made them want to dance. For the Tenth Day, two young “lords a-leaping” came dressed in top hats and scarf ascots. The older of the two explained how their Day represented the laws given to Moses. This coordinated with impressive jumping in place by the 4-year old lord as he told us they were known as the Ten Commandments.

Here and there, interspersed between Days, various musicians delighted us with their talent. Among these was a guitar solo, a rendition of a Christmas song with jingle bells by the Sunday school students, Pipers piping about the 11th Day representing the 11 apostles who remained faithful to Jesus also played a Christmas carol on their flutes. We also heard our combined choir sing a special song and later a string quartet added a music piece from the church balcony. The ‘drummer drumming’ on the 12th Day also entertained us just before the grand finale where all the children sang the entire Twelve Days of Christmas song – complete with lively hand or body motions demonstrating each component.

What an exciting way to learn parts of our faith and a lively want to anticipate the days before Christmas! Dinner fellowship followed after the program with menu choices that also represented the days: Chicken (calling birds), French green beans, deviled eggs (a-laying), a nine-fruit platter – you get the idea! How nice for our two congregations to be together!

 

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