The 12 Gifts of Christmas, #7- the Forwarders

On each of the twelve days leading up to Christmas*, I am giving a gift** to someone*** who really deserves it. This must be how Oprah**** feels.

Don’t swallow that gum! It will stay in your stomach for seven years. I know it’s true because I heard a kid in the back of the bus tell me so when I was in third grade. He also told me that the average human swallows 8 spiders while they sleep and that Taco Bell serves grade E meat. Everyone knows that’s the same stuff they put in dog food.

I’m so glad that we have the internet now and everyone can look up these obviously erroneous “facts” instead of spreading them. What’s that you say? The magic portal of digital information is being used to spread this type of tomfoolery? Inconceivable!

At Christmastime two “urban legends” always seem to surface that really grate on my nerves. I dislike them because most of the people spreading the lies know they are false, but feel that the message outweighs the lie. Perhaps you’ve heard these:

1. The candy cane was designed as a way to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas.

  • shaped like a shepherd’s staff
  • Three small stripes representing the Trinity
  • Red to represent Christ’ blood
  • White to represent His purity

2. Each of the gifts in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song represents something from the Bible.

  • Partridge in a pear tree- Jesus on the cross
  • 3 French hens- love, joy, and peace or the wise men
  • 5 golden rings- the Pentateuch
  • 11 pipers piping- the true apostles minus Judas

I guess there’s nothing blatantly dangerous about these interpretations, but they are not the reason those traditions were started. These stories are placing spiritual significance where it was never intended to be. I have no problem with a Sunday School teacher handing out candy canes and saying “Do you know what these remind me of? Notice the colors…” but it is a blatant lie to say “A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make sure that he was celebrating the real meaning of Christmas so…”

My gift to all of you who spread these falsities is a simple link: Okay, here’s two more links specifically relating to the stories above:
Legend of the Candy Cane
12 Days of Christmas

I’m not trying to bring down Christmas or the many illustrations of God’s love that this time of year provides. I just want us to think very carefully about this question- Is the truth good enough?

*Not the twelve days of Christmas, we’ve been over this already.
**In reality no gifts will be given. This is a hypothetical sort of thing designed to increase traffic on this website.
***Contest open to legal residents of planet earth and 18 or older to win unless I decide to give a gift to a minor or extraterrestrial. No purchase necessary, although purchases will definitely increase chances of winning. Some restrictions apply, like the fact that there is not an actual prize.
****Oprah Winfrey does not necessarily endorse this blog or the contents therein although I’m sure she would enjoy it. Oprah, if you’re reading, an endorsement would be appreciated…and a new car.


About Jeff Postlewaite

high school principal since '07, father since '04, teacher since '03, husband since '03, sound tech since '96, UVA fan since '92, gadget junkie since '89, Christian since '88, Giants fan since '84, golfer since '83, brother since '83, human since '81

Posted on December 20, 2011, in 12 Gifts for Christmas and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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