Few people, unless they are history buffs and/or members of a recreation group, know when the Twelve Days of Christmas really take place. The story goes that the practice of giving gifts at Christmas reflects the Gifts of the Magi, who came to find Jesus at the time of his birth in Bethlehem. That day is celebrated on January 6th, exactly twelve days after December 25th.
While I don’t know many people who could read 12 books in 12 days, I think we could keep the holiday spirit alive by reading one book each month based on the 12 gifts mentioned in the song. You know, the one that begins and ends with a partridge in a pear tree.
Day One, Month One: read a book that involves pears or partridges. My first thought is Sir Terry Pratchett’s many books that included the luggage. The luggage is made from sapient pearwood. It’s virtually unstoppable because it can eat anything that gets in its way.
Day Two, Month Two: Okay, yes, I like birds a whole bunch but even I would get tired of reading nothing but bird stories. So take your two turtle doves and read a book about peace. If you can find a book that interests you that has turtle doves in it, you get an extra internet point.
Day Three, Month Three: Three French Hens could be a lot of fun, really. The books don’t have to be fiction, so my suggestion is a Non-Fiction selection, Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance. A look at the trend of keeping chickens in urbanesque settings. I believe that people become attached to their hens, not only from the evidence in this book, but in the connection, I have made with a friend’s chickens that I watched for a few days.
Day Four, Month Four: Four Calling Birds. Sometimes Colly Birds. Parrots call out all the time. It’s their basic nature and a way to stay in touch with a flock or companion. Read a book about a parrot. We’ll Always Have Parrots is a cute story to start with.
Day Five, Month Five: Five Gold Rings. We don’t have to stick to rings. Read a book about gold, in any shape or form. How many different books can you find with this theme? Tell me which one you chose to read, and why.
Day Six, Month Six: Six Geese a Laying. Geese are awesome birds, just staying. Read a book about eggs or about people who want to be birds. I’ll Fly Away Home and The Egg and I are possibilities.
Day Seven, Month Seven: Seven Swans a-Swimming. Swans mate for life. A pair of swans will often unintentionally form a heart with their necks when they put their heads together. Read a book about a long-lasting love.
Day Eight, Month Eight: Eight Maids-a-Milking. I bet they’re pretty maids, all in a row. And I think dairy products would be an easy subject to find books about. Have fun!
Day Nine, Month Nine: Nine Drummers Drumming. Read a biography of Ringo Starr, Dave Brubeck, or any other drummer. Or find a fictional story about a drummer.
Day Ten, Month Ten: Ten Pipers Piping. I think it’s time for a Scottish Laird romance!
Day Eleven, Month Eleven: Eleven Ladies Dancing. It’s November. You should be doing NaNoWriMo. You have a house to clean and food to cook and lodgings to arrange for out of town visitors. Read something short. Just include a dancing lady, and all will be well.
Day Twelve, Month Twelve: Twelve Lords-a-Leaping. Again, December is a busy month. No NaNo, but presents to buy and ship, religious observances to observe, and family that hasn’t gone home since Thanksgiving. Read a happy winter story or watch one on TV.
May your days be Merry with Books and Bright with Story Ideas. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.