…and a partridge in a pear tree

I have been upbraided, admonished, berated, castigated, chastened, raked over the coals, reprimanded, reproached and chewed out. I have received the message and I am, therefore, penitent, abject, apologetic, compunctious, contrite, regretful, rueful and just plain sorry.

I chose to have a Twelve Days of Christmas sale BEFORE Christmas, knowing full well that the Twelve Days of Christmas are really the Twelve Days AFTER Christmas, leading up to Epiphany. I chose to use the phrase within the context of a Christmas retail sale rather than the traditional Christian usage referring to the days between the birth of Christ and the visit of the magi bearing gifts.

For two reasons, I accept and agree with the recent newsletter subscriber who told me of his disappointment in me that I would use the phrase in the wrong way. First, I am a Christian and I know the terms have historically been used to describe the timeframe leading up to Epiphany. Second, I believe words are important. Words convey meaning. They convince, defend, instruct, encourage, persuade and educate, therefore they should be handled with care. In the midst of the busy season, I was not feeling particularly creative so I grabbed a common and easily understood, though erroneous phrase. My business deals in words. I must be more careful. I, therefore, repent (though not in sackcloth and ashes).

As a side note in this whole debacle, I’ve learned a lot more about Epiphany, including the proposed meaning behind the gifts mentioned in the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Here is an interesting website where you can find the same information. http://www.cresourcei.org/cy12days.html

So, now you have my formal recantation where I hereby annul, back off, backtrack, call back, countermand, disavow, disclaim, disown, renounce, repeal, rescind and otherwise unsay what I said before. The Twelve Days of Christmas at Inklings Bookshop shall be forevermore, only after Christmas, but do keep an eye out for next year’s Christmas Countdown!

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Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 4:52 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My goodness! This was much more of a response than I expected. I appreciate your thoughtful (and penitential) response. Had I know you were going to publish my e-mail, I would have written more carefully than I did.One of my pet peeves for years has been the dominant culture’s consistent confusion of Advent with Christmas, followed closely by the lesser irritation with the tendency to regard the days between Christmas and Epiphany as a time to take down your Christmas decorations and overindulge in watching football on TV.It’s nice to be heard and understood by one person at least. I am as happy as Linus Van Pelt would have been if anyone ever paid attention to his devotion to the Great Pumpkin.Amazon would never do anything so compassionate as the frequently wonderful folks at Inklings.Muddy (aka George)

  2. Hey George, er, Muddy. Thanks for the nice response – a fun interchange – and I’ve had several interesting responses from other readers – friendly banter!


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