Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I forgot that today is Wednesday, my turn to blog. Actually, I forgot it yesterday, because I usually write my blog at least a day in advance.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I go to an “early bird” water aerobics class. It starts at 6:30 a.m. Today I had the class, then right after I had a doctor’s appointment. It was a follow-up appointment, and I anticipated one of those that, after a twenty-minute wait, takes five minutes. Well, the wait was a bit longer than that, and the appointment called for a couple of tests, and I came away with a new prescription -- which called for more waiting at the pharmacy. So I’m even later than I anticipated getting my post up.

Today is January 6, Epiphany, known as the Twelfth Day of Christmas and celebrated as the Feast of the Three Kings. (It is also celebrated as the day Christ was baptized in the River Jordan, and the day He turned water into wine at a marriage celebration at Cana.) I know it as the day I take down my Christmas tree, a job not unhappy but not as much fun as the day I set it up.

It’s interesting how the legend of the Three Kings or Magi or Wise Men grew. In the Bible it only says Magi from the East. But because they brought three gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, it was assumed there were three of them. Later they were given names: Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar (or Gaspar) -- and still later some European countries claimed to have relics of their bodies. (My favorite relic, though I’ve never seen it, only read about it, is the skull of John the Baptist as a child. I believe a cathedral in Spain claimed to have it. I don’t know if it’s still around. It kind of makes me think of my favorite Fontanini pieces: the papa ox, the mama ox, and the baby ox. If you don’t know why that’s hilarious, look up “ox” in the dictionary.)

So anyway, Happy Twelfth Day of Christmas!


Betty Hechtman said...

When I was growing up, I went to a Unitarian Church and they had an evening twelth night service. I remember it as being beautiful, but depressing at the same time because it meant the end of the holidays and just a cold dark January ahead.

I'm glad to say that depressing feeling is gone. It helps that it's close to 70, the sun is out and there are just enough orange blossoms on the trees in the backyard to perfume the air with a hint of spring.

Monica Ferris said...

Oh, Betty, orange blossoms! How fortunate you are! We have piles of frozen snow with more forecast and temps hovering around zero. And the sun still rises late and sets early. We need a better holiday than sweet but feeble Valentine's Day to brighten these dark days. Candlemas, anyone?

Camille Minichino said...

I still remember learning (and disappointed) about the classes of relics. The piece of St. Anthony's habit that I have is 5th class, which means it touched a piece that touched a piece that touched a piece ... and so on.

Still I wouldn't give it up.