This article appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 24, 2010 - It's typical these days to encounter "The 12 Days of Christmas" in our culture: an uncountable number of musical variations (including the cast of "Glee" and "Winnie the Pooh," go figure), CNN challenges to video each of the 12 gifts, analyses of the cost of the gifts, and so on.
What's missing is the why: Why are these 12 days called out, and what's their significance? Why 12? When does the 12-day countdown begin? Is it just a nonsense song about trying to buy love (sorry, Beatles) with a succession of greater and greater gifts?
Or, is it something more?