Monday, December 30, 2013

My "Most" Posts of 2013 {Link-Up}

Sarah over at Amongst Lovely Things is hosting a "Most" posts of 2013 where you create a post of "mosts"- highlight five of your own posts from the year that fit into the following categories:

  • Post with the most clicks
  • Post with the most comments
  • Post with the best picture
  • Post that was hardest to write
  • Post that was your personal favorite (not your readers' favorite- your favorite)

The only rules are that the posts should be from your own blog, and they should be from 2013.

Post with the most clicks:  2013-2014 Classroom and Curriculum
(Like myself, others also enjoy peeking at where homeschoolers learn and what they are learning!)

Post with the most comments:  Advent 2013: How We Keep Christ in Christmas 
(This was a fun link up in Advent and there were so many wonderful comments on my blog and great ideas from several bloggers.)

small Keep Christ in Christmas 
Post with the best picture:  30 Weeks Down...10 To Go!
(Some say I have my hands full...I like to say I have my heart full! I really love this preggo pic my hubby took with my older 4 cupcakes touching their new sibling.

Post that was hardest to write: March for Life 2013
(Not only was this difficult to write because we still have a need to march for life, but it was also difficult tbecause I couldn't be at the March for Life this past year and I wanted to join the march so badly to stand up for those that can't speak for themselves!) 

Post that was my personal favorite:  HABEMUS PAPAM! In My Own Words/Photos/Videos
(Experiencing history in the making with my own cupcakes was exciting and memorable!) 

And if you want to check out my 13 most viewed posts in 2013, be sure to visit my Blog in a Blink: Best 13 of '13 post that I recently did hosted by Monica at Equipping Catholic Families

Thanks for stopping by to visit some of my 2013 blog highlights!  May you have a blessed 2014!
Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Blog in a Blink: Best 13 of '13

I'm linking up with several bloggers in this "Blog in a Blink!" link up hosted by Monica at Equipping Catholic Families as we all share our top 13 posts from the year 2013!

Here are my Top 13 Posts from 2013 in collage form 
(see below for the links to each picture)

Here are the links to my Top 13 Posts from 2013

# 1... 2013-2014 Classroom and Curriculum, posted 8.17.13
# 4... 18 Week Ultrasound!, posted 3.7.13
# 6... Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette Recipe, posted 4.29.13
# 7... Chocolate Green Smoothie Recipe, posted 9.2.13
# 10... March for Life 2013, posted on 1.25.13
# 12... Baby Shower for Baby #5, posted 7.1.13

Thank you for visiting my little corner of blog land in 2013 and for your comments on my posts! Enjoy visiting other blog links below to see their popular posts in 2013!  

May you have a blessed new year and 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What are the 12 Days of Christmas? 2013 Edition

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

This picture was taken at the Christmas Eve Vigil Mass our church.

*I'm reposting this blog post from last year*  

Although the calendar says December 28 and the Christmas carols are no longer playing on the radio and in stores, it is still Christmas!  Christmas begins on Christmas Day and continues for 12 more days until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6, when the Magi visit the Christ Child and bring Him gifts.

So did you know that the famous Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas", celebrates the beginning of the Christmas season, Christmas Day, in the liturgical calendar and ends on the Feast of the Epiphany?   Many mistakenly believe that the 12 days refers to the 12 days prior to the celebration of Christmas Day.

On our Christmas tree we have this beautiful ornament of a partridge in a pear tree that was given to my husband and me by an aunt who has since passed away.  We treasure this gift from our loved one and it wasn't until I started researching about the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" that I realized that there is some controversy surrounding what the partridge in the pear tree symbolized, as well as the other items mentioned in the song.  

Several years ago, I read that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" has religious symbolism and according to Father Edward Dowling in the article, "The Real Meaning of "The Twelve Days of Christmas", The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written to educate the faithful in the doctrines of the faith and yet not be obvious to the persecutors. The numbers are simply a mnemonic to help Catholics remember some basic facts. Recall the words of the song. “On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: twelve lords a leaping, eleven pipers piping, ten ladies dancing, nine drummers drumming, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.”

Father Dowling's article then lists what each phrase of the song means as a way for Catholic Christians to remember the doctrines of the faith: 

“My true love” refers to God, “me” is the individual Catholic. 
The “twelve lords a leaping” are the twelve basic beliefs of the Catholic Church as outlined in the Apostles Creed. 
The “eleven pipers piping” are the eleven Apostles who remained faithful after the treachery of Judas. 
The “ten ladies dancing” are the Ten Commandments. 
The “nine drummers drumming” are the nine choirs of angels which in those days of class distinction were thought important. 
The “eight maids a milking” are the Eight Beatitudes. 
The “seven swans a swimming” are the Seven Sacraments. 
The “six geese a laying” are the Six Commandments of the Church or the six days of creation. 
The “five golden rings” are the first five books of the Old Testament called the Torah which are generally considered the most sacred and important of all the Old Testament. 
The “four calling birds” are the Four Gospels. 
The “three French hens” are the Three Persons in God or the three gifts of the Wise Men. 
The “two turtle doves” represent the two natures in Jesus: human and divine or the two Testaments, Old and New. 
The “partridge” is the piece de resistance, Jesus himself, and the “pear tree” is the Cross. 

It wasn't until I did a search on the internet about "The Twelve Days of Christmas" that I realized that the religious symbolism behind the song is thought to be fiction.  For example, Snopes states that the song was NOT created as a "coded reference to important articles of the Christian faith."  Then Snopes goes into detail why some claim this to be false.  "The Twelve Days of Christmas", according to many articles that I have read, might have been mixed up with another song titled, "A New Dial" which dates to at least 1625 and assigns religious meanings to each day of the 12 days of Christmas.

After reading many articles about the real meaning of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song I'm not  sure if the song has religious symbolism or not since it appears there is no sound proof for it to be true or false.

What do you think?  Have you heard about the religious symbolism in "The Twelve Days of Christmas"?  Were you aware of the differences of opinions in whether or not the song was created as a type of catechism during a time of persecution?   I think this is a fascinating topic and would love to hear what others think about it.

There are many parodies that have come from "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song and I would like to conclude this post with 2 variations that you may have never heard, but I found them to be fun and entertaining. 

The first video is titled "The Twelve Days of Homeschooling" which I found funny as a homeschool mom myself.

This second video is the group Straight No Chaser singing a creative and entertaining version called "12 Days of Christmas Medley".

On this fourth day of Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

I recently read Tiffany's plans that she did for all the 12 days of Christmas and it was all just so beautiful and impressive so I am linking to Tiffany's page,  Catholic 12 Days of Christmas, over at Family At The Foot Of The Cross for my own future reference and to share the lovely ideas that Tiffany has done with her family during this holy season!  Maybe one year I will be able to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas as beautifully as she did!  Thanks Tiffany!


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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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