Happy Christmastide!

Xmascandb

Greetings from Jo, Charlie the Christmas Elf, and Billy the Snow Elf, here to begin the celebration of a Wenchly Christmastide.

I love the idea of Christmastide because it's a season, not a day and I like to give people good wishes for a stretch of time, not just one day. Personally, I think we load the one day with too much importance, which often leads to stress and disappointment. So be kind to yourself and think of the whole season of warmth, light, and good will.

Another benefit of Christmastide in the past is that it allowed for both the religious solemnity of Christmas Day, and the traditional fun of the season at other times, but especially at Twelfth Night. But I'll be back to talk about that. The well-known, and well-parodied, song The Twelve Days of Christmas arose from the fun side of Christmastide and apparently has roots back to the 16th century.

The Word Wenches are celebrating the twelve days of Christmastide with short seasonal posts every day and we hope you'll join in with joyful contributions along the way.

Giottomagi

Christmastide runs from Christmas Day to the eve of the Epiphany. The Epiphany, the feast celebrating the arrival of the Three Wise Men or Mages (I prefer that to Magi, but does anyone know why the word magi came into use? I deliberately haven't looked it up)is the 6th of January, so the eve is 5th. There are church variations that take Christmastide into February, but we'll stick with the simpler version in our celebration.

I love the T. S. Eliot poem, The Journey of the Magi, but then I  like it when people look at the gritty side of traditional elements because it always gives the familiar a new relevance.

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For the journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.

Read the whole poem here.

Xmasboy
As a small Christmastide gift, I've put up some English recipes. They're not particularly seasonal, but you might want to play with some of them.The recipes are here. 

And for those who haven't already read them, I have two free Christmas stories on line.

The Christmas Wedding Gambit.Mistbough

Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss.  This is a mistletoe bough, and the gentleman was supposed to pluck a berry every time he claimed a kiss, so finding mistletoe with plenty of berries was very important.

Happy Christmastide, and enjoy each day of it, here at Word Wenches.

Jo


45 thoughts on “Happy Christmastide!”

  1. **nd the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
    Lying down in the melting snow.**
    Poor camels! Definitely a different view of the Magi. (And no, I don’t know why that’s used instead of mages, but guess it goes back to the days when most everything in the Church was in Latin, and magi would have been the proper plural of magus.)
    I like the idea that Christmastide is a season, with time enough for both religious observance and fun. 12 days sounds just about right. 🙂
    Happy holidays to all–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  2. **nd the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
    Lying down in the melting snow.**
    Poor camels! Definitely a different view of the Magi. (And no, I don’t know why that’s used instead of mages, but guess it goes back to the days when most everything in the Church was in Latin, and magi would have been the proper plural of magus.)
    I like the idea that Christmastide is a season, with time enough for both religious observance and fun. 12 days sounds just about right. 🙂
    Happy holidays to all–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  3. **nd the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
    Lying down in the melting snow.**
    Poor camels! Definitely a different view of the Magi. (And no, I don’t know why that’s used instead of mages, but guess it goes back to the days when most everything in the Church was in Latin, and magi would have been the proper plural of magus.)
    I like the idea that Christmastide is a season, with time enough for both religious observance and fun. 12 days sounds just about right. 🙂
    Happy holidays to all–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  4. **nd the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
    Lying down in the melting snow.**
    Poor camels! Definitely a different view of the Magi. (And no, I don’t know why that’s used instead of mages, but guess it goes back to the days when most everything in the Church was in Latin, and magi would have been the proper plural of magus.)
    I like the idea that Christmastide is a season, with time enough for both religious observance and fun. 12 days sounds just about right. 🙂
    Happy holidays to all–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  5. **nd the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
    Lying down in the melting snow.**
    Poor camels! Definitely a different view of the Magi. (And no, I don’t know why that’s used instead of mages, but guess it goes back to the days when most everything in the Church was in Latin, and magi would have been the proper plural of magus.)
    I like the idea that Christmastide is a season, with time enough for both religious observance and fun. 12 days sounds just about right. 🙂
    Happy holidays to all–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  6. Jo, THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGI is one of my favorite poems! I was mentioning it just last night at Christmas Eve dinner.
    I’ve bookmarked your recipes, since I love to cook and am in general a food fan.
    My friends, sf/f writers Diane Duane and Peter Morwood, have been posting traditional Christmas recipes lately at their food blog, European Cuisines, if anyone would like to see more recipes from the Old World: http://www.europeancuisines.com.
    Merry Christmas!
    Laura Resnick

    Reply
  7. Jo, THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGI is one of my favorite poems! I was mentioning it just last night at Christmas Eve dinner.
    I’ve bookmarked your recipes, since I love to cook and am in general a food fan.
    My friends, sf/f writers Diane Duane and Peter Morwood, have been posting traditional Christmas recipes lately at their food blog, European Cuisines, if anyone would like to see more recipes from the Old World: http://www.europeancuisines.com.
    Merry Christmas!
    Laura Resnick

    Reply
  8. Jo, THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGI is one of my favorite poems! I was mentioning it just last night at Christmas Eve dinner.
    I’ve bookmarked your recipes, since I love to cook and am in general a food fan.
    My friends, sf/f writers Diane Duane and Peter Morwood, have been posting traditional Christmas recipes lately at their food blog, European Cuisines, if anyone would like to see more recipes from the Old World: http://www.europeancuisines.com.
    Merry Christmas!
    Laura Resnick

    Reply
  9. Jo, THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGI is one of my favorite poems! I was mentioning it just last night at Christmas Eve dinner.
    I’ve bookmarked your recipes, since I love to cook and am in general a food fan.
    My friends, sf/f writers Diane Duane and Peter Morwood, have been posting traditional Christmas recipes lately at their food blog, European Cuisines, if anyone would like to see more recipes from the Old World: http://www.europeancuisines.com.
    Merry Christmas!
    Laura Resnick

    Reply
  10. Jo, THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGI is one of my favorite poems! I was mentioning it just last night at Christmas Eve dinner.
    I’ve bookmarked your recipes, since I love to cook and am in general a food fan.
    My friends, sf/f writers Diane Duane and Peter Morwood, have been posting traditional Christmas recipes lately at their food blog, European Cuisines, if anyone would like to see more recipes from the Old World: http://www.europeancuisines.com.
    Merry Christmas!
    Laura Resnick

    Reply
  11. Oh, Jo! Thank you for the Jane Austen short. 🙂 I’d never read that, though I’ve read The Christmas Wedding Gambit several times a season since you first posted it. It’s one of my favorite Christmas shorts because Frances is a rather unorthodox, average heroine as far as her physical appearance goes. And I love her the more for it because her mind is sharp. And ruthless 😉
    And thanks for the recipes!
    Christmas is coming to an end and we had a busy day, but I hope everyone’s was Merry!
    And Happy Christmastide!

    Reply
  12. Oh, Jo! Thank you for the Jane Austen short. 🙂 I’d never read that, though I’ve read The Christmas Wedding Gambit several times a season since you first posted it. It’s one of my favorite Christmas shorts because Frances is a rather unorthodox, average heroine as far as her physical appearance goes. And I love her the more for it because her mind is sharp. And ruthless 😉
    And thanks for the recipes!
    Christmas is coming to an end and we had a busy day, but I hope everyone’s was Merry!
    And Happy Christmastide!

    Reply
  13. Oh, Jo! Thank you for the Jane Austen short. 🙂 I’d never read that, though I’ve read The Christmas Wedding Gambit several times a season since you first posted it. It’s one of my favorite Christmas shorts because Frances is a rather unorthodox, average heroine as far as her physical appearance goes. And I love her the more for it because her mind is sharp. And ruthless 😉
    And thanks for the recipes!
    Christmas is coming to an end and we had a busy day, but I hope everyone’s was Merry!
    And Happy Christmastide!

    Reply
  14. Oh, Jo! Thank you for the Jane Austen short. 🙂 I’d never read that, though I’ve read The Christmas Wedding Gambit several times a season since you first posted it. It’s one of my favorite Christmas shorts because Frances is a rather unorthodox, average heroine as far as her physical appearance goes. And I love her the more for it because her mind is sharp. And ruthless 😉
    And thanks for the recipes!
    Christmas is coming to an end and we had a busy day, but I hope everyone’s was Merry!
    And Happy Christmastide!

    Reply
  15. Oh, Jo! Thank you for the Jane Austen short. 🙂 I’d never read that, though I’ve read The Christmas Wedding Gambit several times a season since you first posted it. It’s one of my favorite Christmas shorts because Frances is a rather unorthodox, average heroine as far as her physical appearance goes. And I love her the more for it because her mind is sharp. And ruthless 😉
    And thanks for the recipes!
    Christmas is coming to an end and we had a busy day, but I hope everyone’s was Merry!
    And Happy Christmastide!

    Reply
  16. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  17. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  18. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  19. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  20. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  21. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  22. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  23. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  24. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  25. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  26. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  27. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  28. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  29. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply
  30. Like Theo I have read “The Christmas Wedding Gambit” several times but somehow missed the Austen one. It is delightful. Thank you!
    And I love the Eliot poem too. Madeleine L’Engle’s Christmas poems are also among my favorite Christmas readings because they push me to look at familiar things in a new way.

    Reply

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