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Howe Philomaths hold Christmas party


The Philomaths of Howe held their annual Christmas party at the home of Marge Malone.

Prior to the potluck luncheon, a short business meeting was held.

A short Christmas game and one Christmas carol, directed by Miriam Carnahan, were enjoyed by members.

Following the luncheon, Marietta Abston told about the history of the 12 Days of Christmas. From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote “The 12 Days of Christmas” as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning – the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember. The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ. Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments. Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love. The four calling (callie) birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes. Nine ladies dancing are the nine Fruits of the Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Faithfulness, Goodness, and Self-control. The 10 lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments. Eleven pipers piping represent the 11 faithful apostles. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the 12 points of the doctrine of the Apostles Creed.

Abston displayed her collection of The 12 Days of Christmas by artist Jim Shore.

This will be the final meeting of the year for the club. The group will meet again, officially, in March. The meeting closed with remembrance of members who were unable to attend, especially Gloria Poljack, Suzanne O’Connor, and Virginia Pagin.

In November the meeting was held at the home of Kathy Kessler and donations of canned meat were brought to the meeting to be donated to the LaGrange County Clothes and Food Basket. Jo Schrader presented the program by displaying and telling about her lovely collection of manger scenes, setting the mood for the Christmas season.