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The Third Day of Christmas

After two days of celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas, I’ve definitely realized that it’s a good idea not to do any eating or celebrating before the feast time, because it’s a lot of celebrating and feasting. :) So today, I went a bit of a different way.

Because I got the fruit-of-the-month club for Christmas (from Harry and David–I highly recommend–and they’re having 20% off sale right now) and had a few pears left, I decided to make a pear smoothie to eat for breakfast and lunch. Pears, some leftover pineapple juice, a handful of grapes, 1/2 a box of blueberries, some cranberry juice, and an apple. It was fantastic and refreshing. And I needed it, because we’re going to have quite the spread tonight.

So, as the third day of Christmas, today is the feast of St. John. He’s the patron saint of, among other things, writers. And interestingly enough, one of the suggested activities of the day is drinking St. John’s wine. These activities seem relatively consistent with one another. All of the writers I know are wine drinkers.

But I also wanted to look at the connection between St. John and writers, and why he is our patron saint, and what that means for this feast day.

John wrote three epistles, one gospel, and the apocalypse. Specifically, the gospel gives us a lot of insight into his connection to all that is artistic about the Bible. Where the first three gospels are written in the style of a history, the fourth gospel (John’s) is written in the style of an epic. It begins with the beginning of time and ends with the victory of good over evil. It’s a microcosm of the whole Bible, and is masterfully written. It’s the gospel most often encouraged to be read by new converts because it’s the most dramatic (experiential) of all the gospels.

So John, the artist, who created the experiential gospel, has a feast day honoring him. What might one do on the day set aside to honor artists, writers, and the like? Certainly, one would think, with beauty. In my opinion, this is what sets John’s gospel apart from the other three. There is a theological beauty in the other three gospels, certainly. But there is literary beauty in the gospel of John. So experiencing literary beauty is important.

I spent my morning reading Lord of the Rings and my afternoon watching the Hobbit. I did a fruit cleanse in order to keep my mind sharp to appreciate the beauty of what I read, and tonight, I will indulge in good food and good company–the beauty of relationship. So today is all about celebrating beauty.

My recipe of the day for today is for St. John’s wine (mulled wine). I’m not going to be making it, but I thought I would link to it so you could see it. We’ll be having mulled cider at the party this evening, but there are kids around, so no mulled wine.

My celebration of the day, as I said, is to celebrate literary beauty. Tonight when I get home, I will read part of St. John’s gospel, just to remind myself of its beauty.

My song of the day is what I consider to be the most beautiful Christmas carol: O Holy Night. This is my favorite version of that song:

Okay, yes, that was originally done by N’Sync–don’t judge. The arrangement is incredible. And this guy does as good a job as they do. Anyway. Beautiful.  Tune in tomorrow for the next New West Test Kitchen, and also for the fourth day of Christmas. Only eight days left. :) Join me tomorrow.

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