Twelfth Night and Epiphany Jeopardy!

IMG_8760On this day in January 2013, Jeremy wrote about the ancient tradition of Twelfth Night, the night before the Feast of the Epiphany. I thought I knew everything there is to know about the Epiphany—but I was wrong—so wrong.

For his religious education family group on Sunday, my brother made a Jeopardy! game about all things related to the Epiphany. We took his test—and failed miserably.

The first problem was coming up with the names of the three kings. I defaulted to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, knowing I was very wrong, but there were three names, and they are figures in the Bible. I couldn’t conjure up Melchior, Casper (or Gaspar) and Balthazar. The pressure of the timed moment was just too great—even with the hint that one of them sounded like a “friendly ghost.”  This CNN iReport describes the Lithuanian celebration of the three kings.  (Another future post, for certain.)

I completely failed on the three gifts. I could name them, sure. But I forgot the spiritual purpose of each one, especially myrrh. Later, I spent some time reading about each of the gifts and how they relate to the recognition of the divinity of the baby Jesus.

My brother asked about the Massacre of the Innocents and the names of ancient kings. The only answer I was sure of was “Egypt” (where Mary, Joseph and Jesus fled).

Although, Roger and I earned an imaginary $1800, it was a struggle. I will be re-visiting some of the major points of the Nativity story this year. Be prepared for Epiphany Jeopardy! rematch.

“The Writer’s Almanac” today featured a description of Twelfth Night in the early American Colonial period.

This month marks the third year of The Yule Log 365, and I feel like I have so much to learn.


$11 Million Tree??













Natalie’s post yesterday of unusual trees got me searching for more unusual tree offerings.  In my hunt I came across numerous mentions of the “most expensive” Christmas tree ever.  The tree was displayed in 2010 at the Emirates Palace Hotel located in Abu Dhabi.  The huge artificial tree is covered with silver and gold bows, ball-shaped ornaments, and simple white lights.  The cost of the tree and the basic ornaments total about $10,000 in cost.  But that’s not what makes it the most expensive tree.  The $11,000,000 costs comes from the necklaces, earrings, and jewelry covering the tree as decorations.  There are over 180 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and sapphires spread across the evergreen.  The display was created by the in-house jeweler at the hotel and was partly an attempt to gain an entry into the Guinness Book of Records.  Not too big of a stretch for a hotel with a golden ATM machine and an actual gold vending machine.  No, not made of gold, but where you can purchase gold things!  I like a really pretty tree, but this seems WAY over the top.

Oh, here’s a link to some more unusual trees to add to Natalie’s list: Most Unusual Trees.