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Ten members of the Chrisman Shakespeare Club met at the home of Paula Bouton for their annual Christmas Luncheon.
The luncheon was catered by Front Street Market in Hume with choices of Swiss steak, chicken, broccoli and rice casserole, cranberry salad, rolls, carrots, salad and cheesy potatoes. Desserts were a choice of cherry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or lemon meringue.
After members enjoyed their delicious meal, they moved into the living room to begin the meeting. President Nancy Harper led in the club collect. The previous meeting minutes along with the treasurer’s report was approved.
There were no reports from any committees or unfinished business. For the 2023 year, Marge Foor and Nancy Harper will be on the book committee. It was agreed upon that all officers will remain in their positions for the next year.
2023 Officers are: Nancy Harper- President; Nancy Hodge- Vice President; Penny Cook- Secretary; Marilyn Fischer- Treasurer and Alice Lientz- Historian.
Roll call for the meeting was ‘Your Favorite Christmas Memory from Childhood’. Responses included: first pair of white cowboy boots; talking her parents into opening presents on Christmas Eve, but found out that wasn’t fun; month full of birthdays; trips to Florida; first dolls; a new bike and parents tradition of keeping the spirit of Santa alive, though she didn’t believe anymore, but didn’t want to tell them.
Nancy Harper played a few Christmas songs on the piano to help close out the meeting. Harper also read the ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.
The 12 days of Christmas is the period in Christian theology that marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day). The four weeks preceding Christmas are collectively known as Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on December 24.
A popular theory that’s made the internet rounds is that the lyrics to “The 12 Days of Christmas” are coded references to Christianity; it posits that the song was written to help Christians learn and pass on the tenets of their faith while avoiding persecution.
Under that theory, the various gifts break down as follows: 2 Turtle Doves-The Old and New Testaments; 3 French Hens-Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues; 4 Calling Birds- the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists; 5 Golden Rings- The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch,” which gives the history of man’s fall from grace; 6 Geese A-laying- the six days of creation; 7 Swans A-swimming-the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments; 8 Maids A-milking-the eight beatitudes; 9 Ladies Dancing-the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit; 10 Lords A-leaping-the Ten Commandments; 11 Pipers Piping-the 11 faithful Apostles; 12 Drummers Drumming- the 12 points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed. The partridge in the pear tree, naturally, represents Jesus Christ.
To calculate the cost of all the gifts in “The 12 Days of Christmas,” If you turn to the PNC financial services group’s annual Christmas Price Index, which PNC has been putting out since 1984; it calculates the cost of all the gifts in the song based on current market rates.
Given the current pace of inflation, this smorgasbord of gift-giving is extra-costly this year: The total for 2022 comes to a whopping $45,523.27, up 10.5 percent from 2021 prices or $197,071.09 if you count each mention of an item separately (which would amount to 364 gifts in all) — a 9.8 percent increase from last year.
The rising price of items like gold and fertilizer means those five rings ($1,245, a 39 percent increase) and the infamous partridge in a pear tree ($280.18, up nearly 26 percent) are costlier than ever.
Some things haven’t changed at all, though — as the index points out, the federal minimum wage hasn’t increased since 2009, meaning the rate for eight maids a-milking is holding steady at a relative steal of $58.
The next meeting will be held in June with hostesses Penny Cook and Alice Lientz. Mrs. Lientz will have the program for the meeting.