Why do we do that at Christmas?
Things are heating up for the holidays. Hot toddies and wine are flowing and gifts are being bought. But where did all these merry traditions come from? What makes us wander from house to house singing to strangers, when the only place we’d normally sing is in the shower? Well, dear reader, since my new book, Chain of Illusions released last month, I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions about medieval traditions. So let’s dive into a little history lesson.
Churches played a huge part in medieval Christmas festivities. Religious dramas and mysteries were presented by the church for the congregation’s entertainment. The Holy Family or the Nativity were particularly popular and as the interest in the Nativity grew, so did Christmas as a holiday.
I love the concept of caroling, though I will admit I haven’t done it since I was a kid. As a carolee, I feel a bit like someone who is caught off guard by trick or treaters. Do I offer the carolers a cookie or hot chocolate? How long can I hold this smile as they trill into yet another Christmas song? In the Middle Ages, caroling was uber popular. Probably because it was frowned upon by the church. Realizing they weren’t going to beat the singing trend, the religious powers to be decided to guide the unwashed masses to a more suitable format of hymns and religious based songs.
Who doesn’t love The Twelve Days of Christmas, if only to see if you can remember all the words? This song may have started out as a game set to music. One person would sing a stanza and then another person would add his own lines to the song, repeating the first verse. Each subsequent person would continue to build on what had been sung before them. Another possible version was that it originated as a Catholic catechism memory song. During the Reformation, this song helped many oppressed Catholics remember facts about God and Jesus during a time when their faith might have meant death.
Charades was also popular during Christmas, especially in England. Much more elaborate than today’s game, the players would dress up as the opposite sex and act out comic stories. I’m pretty certain I would have been a pro at this game.
I’d love to hear about the traditions you and your family have. Leave a comment to be entered in winning a $25 gift card to Amazon. Perhaps you’ll want to pick up the first book in my Bringer and the Bane series, Shield of Fire, and start the epic adventure between good and evil.
Have a fantastic and joyous holiday.
For two years, Siban had been tortured in the Bane prison, only to fall in love with the beautiful demon who helped him escape. Tormented by the thought of never seeing her again, he maintains a life of solitude. So, when Rell’s human body is rescued from the Shadow World, he will do anything to be with her—even if it means challenging death to become a Bringer, too.
But once their Bringer transformations and training are completed, Siban and Rell must join a mission to go deep in the Shadow World to rescue others trapped by the Demon Bane King. And what they discover destroys everything they knew about the Demon Bane. The lovers must learn to trust themselves, each other, and their new powers if they’re going to make it out alive.
Siban lifted his chin toward the gray sky and inhaled. Crisp air filled his lungs, clearing his head. The time had come for him to take his place among his people, the Bringers. Past time, actually. They needed him in the fight against the Demon Bane—a fight the Bringers seemed to be losing.
He exhaled and walked to the closest outbuilding. His hand hovered on the cold metal of the door handle, his determination wavering. Could he go through with the ceremony that would finally bring him to full power as a Bringer? Perhaps if he hadn’t seen Luc’s conversion firsthand, hadn’t watched the blade drive into his friend’s chest, and hadn’t felt the life draining from Luc, he wouldn’t feel so anxious now. But there was no turning back. Hopefully he’d be able to control the power that came with being a Bringer Tell. Endowed with the Knowing, he would sense things more strongly. Would know truth from a lie. Saints willing, the darkness that still tainted his soul from his years of imprisonment in the Demon Bane’s Shadow World wouldn’t grow stronger as well.
Chilly wind whipped his hair, bringing with it the smell of fall and the hint of snow. The sky echoed his mood. For a 4 year he’d been dealing with the dark memories of being held captive the only way he knew how—alone. But now he’d found Rell again and she needed him to be strong. He’d been the one to change her mind about being put to death by one of the immortal daggers of the Bringers. As the only weapons that could vanquish a Demon Bane, it was the only way to kill her, but Siban wouldn’t let that happen. For too long he’d grieved the loss of her. Nothing would stop him from helping her survive the healing that would transform her from a Demon Bane back into her human form—and into a Bringer.
Settled in the icy regions of Alaska with the love of her life and twin daughters, it’s not uncommon to find her tapping away on her iPad on a windy beach or the barren tundra. Be warned, everyone is fodder for one of Boone’s novels.