Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas

Who doesn't enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas? It's one of our favorite carols of the seasons. Have you ever wondered about its orgins? I thought I'd share some interesting tidbits with you.

The song was first published in England in 1780, but there's strong textual evidence that suggest it is much older and had French roots.

In fact 3 French versions of the song are known. if you take "A Partridge in a Pear Tree" literally, the only type of partridge that perches in pear trees with any frequency is the red-legged partridge - found in France. This partidge was not successfuly introducted into England until 1770.

The song was brought to the US in 1910 by Emily Brown, who was a teacher in Milwaukee, VI. She heard the song in England and needed a song for her Christmas pagent.

Modern folklore implies the song was used as a "catechism song" for the Catholics in England between 1558-1829 when Catholicism was frowned upon.

The 1984 cost of the 12 days of Christmas? $12,623.10.

There are minor variants of the song:
** Calling Birds for colly birds
**Golden rings for Gold Rings.

Currently, English composer Frederic Austin arranged the standard version. The copyright was registered in 1909 and is still active by its owners.

On a more religious note, the 12 days of Christmas usually start on Christmas and last until the Feast of the Epiphany on the 6th of January in most Christian religions. However, I've noticed in our "rush" to enjoy Christmas, a lot of groups - for example, my work, celebrate the 12 days before Christmas. Do you celebrate the 12 days before? What do you do?

Share your thoughts on the 12 Days of Christmas. GIVEAWAY. Leave a post with a comment about the 12 days or Your Family Christmas traditions and I'll pick a person to receive a decorative cloth christmas tree made by my friend, Lori Powell.

My latest release is "The Faberge Secret." It's a contemporary romantic suspense Christmas story, about 40K. BLURB: When Elise Goodwin buys a rare Faberge Egg, can Dimitri keep her safe from his rival, Gustav Kelch who will do anything to take the egg from her.

5 STARS, Celia Yeary, Author
You will thoroughly enjoy this fast-paced tale of danger, a mystery, and a satisfying conclusion.Elise and Dimitri make sparks fly!

Sue Perkins, Author
The Faberge Secret exceeded my expectations. Definitely worth reading more than once. What more can I say? It is such a good book.

BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf5ujOoDRXs

Elise Goodwin finds herself faced with danger when she learns the Faberge egg she's bought belongs to a Russian mogul, Dimitri Romanov, but is Dimitri playing a game with Elise's heart to get his heirloom back?

Elise Goodwin runs a heritage museum in Brattleboro, Vermont. She travels to Boston to buy some items for her museum at Sotheby's auction. What she acquires is a delicious surprise that would excite any curator – a Faberge egg.

Enter Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov. He goes to the auction with the intent of buying the egg only to discover that Elise is in possession of it. His dilemma? He's attracted to the petite brunette with doe-like eyes and a trusting disposition.

Complicating matters is Dimitri's rival, Gustav Kelch, who wants the precious jeweled object for his own collection. Can Dimitri protect Elise from Kelch?


She bit her lower lip. If she didn't take a chance now, would her life be filled with what- ifs and regrets? Yes, John had hurt her, but she was still alive. Dare she believe in romance again?

Dimitri paused next to her room, beside the door.

"If you have the time..." she began, knowing it was now or never. "And if you don't have to go back to Russia right away, I'd be honored to have you share Christmas with my family."

"I'd be happy to." His gaze was as soft as a caress. He reached out and tucked a stray tendril of hair behind her ear. Then slowly, he curved his hand around the nape of her neck and moved closer so there was no space between them.

Their lips skirted each other's, teasing, tempting... until Dimitri's mouth finally captured hers in a drugging kiss.

His lips were firm and persuasive. He smelled of soap and sandalwood. Something intense flared within her, and she fisted her hands around the lapels of his coat. Her body betrayed her desire. His erection pressed against her thigh.

All of a sudden, an all-crushing fear consumed her. He was hard for her. It was too soon, too fast. She broke the kiss and pushed him away.

"Elise--" Dimitri began.

Elise's heart jumped. She swung around and looked at the door.

It stood ajar.

"Lucy!" Elise forgot all about Dimitri's kiss and rushed inside with him right behind her.

Concern spiked within her the second she saw Lucy.

Her friend's hands and feet were tied to a chair, and a gag was in her mouth. The room had been trashed. Their suitcases had been turned over; their clothes and books tossed haphazardly about.

Fear knotted inside Elise. She rushed to the chair and took off Lucy's gag. Dimitri untied the knots at Lucy's feet, concern for her friend evident in his eyes. Elise was thrilled that Dimitri had helped her with no hesitation or reservations.

"What happened?" Elise asked. "Who did this?"

"They were looking for the egg," Lucy said. She glanced at Dimitri, but instead of her earlier resistance to him, gratefulness filled her gaze.

Dimitri froze and glanced up, his stare drilling into Elise. "Egg? A Faberge egg?"

Elise loosened one of the ropes around Lucy's hand and looked at Dimitri, perplexed. "What do you know about Faberge eggs?"

He muttered something in Russian, finished untying the knot around Lucy's other ankle, and stood, straightening his shoulders.
"That's what I lost. What I've been looking for -- my Faberge egg."






  1. what a wonderfully tense excerpt! Looking forward to this new story, Steph!

  2. Where do you come up with all this info? Fascinating stuff.
    Okay, just call me Scrooge, but I barely do anything the 12 days before Christmas. The adults in my family don't exchange presents at Christmas (we celebrate birthdays for adults) but we cook up some food--big time so most of my thoughts are centered on what I'm going to cook up this year. This year I'm going to make dairy stuffed peppers (I use the red kind cause they're sweet). It's a Jewish recipe but, hey, Honnuka is happening, too.

  3. Maggie, thanks for popping in. Hope you're feeling better. I enjoyed writing this story very much.

    Sarah, um...stuffed peppers sounds yummy. You know, it just doesn't feel right to me to have the 12 days before Christmas, but at my work, they do the 12 days before. We bring in little appetizers and munches. I won't complain, honestly because it's a nice pick me up at 2 am in the working!