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12 Days of Christmas

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A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Patsy the Partridge was no ordinary, run-of-the-mill partridge. Although she was only 5 months old, she had quite a reputation for being a kind, generous and caring little bird. But little did she know her real purpose was yet to be revealed to her...It had been a difficult year for all the birds in her flock, or covey, and for all the animals in the meadow. The people who usually came out for walks or picnics - and then unknowingly left bits of sandwiches or biscuits behind - hadn't been around much this year. If they had come by, they weren't stopping to eat and they all had these things over their faces - they just rushed past in small  little groups of 3 - 4 people, sometimes families - children were the ones who generally threw them biscuits - but not this year. It was a good thing partridges ate seeds and roots, but with all the heat and sun this summer, things had really dried up - then with the autumn came the rain - food was hard to come by this year. Most of the animals and birds she passed by recently seemed to have long glum faces - she always tried to cheer them up by saying a kind word and sharing whatever food she had with whomever she met - this year, it just didn't seem to be working. By the end of November all her animal friends were at an all- time low - Christmas was fast approaching, but not even that seemed to be cheering anyone up. Patsy felt she had to do something to try and lift their spirits and bring some joy to her friends. She thought she'd try to sing, but all that came out was a raspy call that sounded like she was in pain, but she tried and tried. But then... She had an idea. She flew up the nearest tree - a pear tree - something she wasn't used to doing - out of her comfort zone and tried again. Fred the Robin heard her raspy noise and asked - "what are you doing Patsy making that horrid noise? " - "just trying to bring some joy to this sad world". "Well I can help you" . Fred joined in. Soon Jack the Blackbird, Mavis the Wren and Lily the Songthrush had also joined her little choir at the top of the pear tree and the meadow was filled with beautiful bird song. All the animals stopped to listen, even the people, locked up in their houses who had been so sad - opened their windows to the joyous sound of the beautiful bird song. Their hearts felt lightened and filled with hope and joy. "Right..." said Patsy "meet you here again tomorrow? 

Two Turtle Doves

Doves have been used as a symbol of love and friendship throughout time and in the song the 12 Days of Christmas the Two Turtle Doves are given as a gift to the singer by their true love. In life, doves stay together and work as a team to build their nests every year. What could be more symbolic then, in the uncertain time that we’re living through, than the forming of friendship teams and using those groups to build a craft project together? Outside of the Yarnbombers circle many new teams will have been formed in recent months and the hope is that they too will endure, and people will continue to be there for each other through the good times and the bad.

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Three French Hens

"Cocorico" calls Rocky from the church bell towers.... Or in the case on top of the Hen Christmas tree! Looking over the horizon for his Bresse Galoise hens, he doesn't realise there are three cackling away at the bottom of the tree, like birds often do. They are discussing the Christmas menu which consists of roasted escargot. "Slugs are definitely too tough to eat"! exclaims one. They all agree cabbage leaves and brussel sprouts are also on the menu, with added potato peelings! 

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Four Colly Birds

My friends, Kevin, Sissy, Merula and I were delighted and very honoured to be asked to take part in this year's SSOHC Christmas Special Event. We have all kept this a secret for many months and as we love to sing you may well have heard us practicing every morning when our sunrise alarm clocks go off.   Our friend Robin, a bit of a cheeky character, tried to get in on the act but I had to remind him that a quartet meant just four so he is happy to act as a substitute if needed. I do hope you enjoy our little choir and seeing all our other friends you will find in Ware and Hertford. Please give whatever you can to support the SSOHC local charities. Sending you festive cheer and big hugs, Basil (in the Christmas hat, aka The General) xxxx

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Five Gold Rings

It has been suggested that as the presents sent on the first seven days were all birds—the "five gold rings" were not actually gold rings, but refer to the five golden rings of the ringed pheasant. Others suggest the gold rings refer to "five goldspinks"—a goldspink being an old name for a goldfinch; or even canaries. However, an 1780 publication includes an illustration that clearly depicts the "five gold rings" as being jewellery so SSOHC have gone with that.

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Six Geese a Laying

The geese love their placid lake and happily swim around it admiring the beautiful Christmas tree that Farmer Quack has put up for them on their tiny island in the centre. He's thoughtfully put up lights,  tinsel and some hanging egg decorations for them. Lisa, Marje, Ann, Denise, Madeleine and Pat swim past it looking for places to make a nest and lay their eggs or to check that their earlier nests in the tree are still safely hidden. Lisa has only just starting laying and is proud to show off her very first egg and the older, more experienced geese are delighted for Lisa. There's a rumour that now they are all laying that Farmer Quack will send them with other presents to his fiancée as a token of his love. They like the idea and are eager for their trip out.

Seven Swans a Swimming
We are 7 swans a swimming and we have been given royal permission to swim on this post box. Our journey has brought us from the royal parks of which there are 8. Our names are: Hyacinth from Hyde Park, Kendall from Kensington Gardens, Richelle from Richmond Park, Jamina from St James's Park, Gracie from Green Park, Reginald from Regents Park, Grayson from Greenwich Park. Unfortunately Buddy from Bushey Park took a wrong turning over Twickenham after ignoring his Sat Nav which is why there are only 7 of us!

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Eight Maids a Milking

Please meet our Eight Maids a Milking, (although it is seven milking and one having a nap!) Agatha, Jamela, Gloria, Kylie, Nancy, Phoebe, Vivien and Nahla and one of their cows, Esme. They had their work Christmas Party last night; slightly different to usual as it had to be on Zoom, but they had fun opening their Secret Santa presents, eating party food and drinking a cheeky Prosecco or three! They still had to get up at 4.30am to milk the cows so are feeling pretty tired. The farmer has just come to tell them that he has agreed that a "True Love" can give them as a gift on the eighth day of Christmas; they are all quite pleased to be getting the overtime apart from Nancy who has a hair appointment booked

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Nine Ladies Dancing

STRICTLY 2020 COMES TO WARE The townsfolk of Ware were delighted when nine past and present contestants of Strictly Come Dancing came to perform their Christmas Special. The nine ladies : Stacey, Lulu, Maisie, Pixie, Jamelia, Sophie, Zoe, Patsy and Sunetra were dancing around the Christmas Tree in The Priory grounds dressed as cheer leaders. The judges were watching on Zoom. "Wow" said Motsi " I just love their dresses.  I want one like that. "No chance" replied Shirley.  "I've heard the designers work in secret, nothing is known until the opening night." Bruno fell off his chair laughing! " Don't be so rediculous" he spluttered. "How could anything so spectacular be done in secret?" Even Craig seemed impressed, giving a rare smile." Fab-u-lous Daarlings" he gushed. Meanwhile Tess and Claudia were a little worried. What could have happened to Anton, Alijax et al? Well they had been waylaid by a group of ladies all wearing beautifully knitted hats and scarves!!!

Ten Lords a Leaping

Ten Lords a Leaping In the British Realm are feeling quite bored after listening to matters in the House of Lords and filling their tummies with minced pies and mulled wine in celebration of the Christmas break ahead. However, it is far too early to go home and some of them are thinking what to do instead. "what shall we do now?" one asks his neighbour. "Let's go dancing and find us some beautiful maids or ladies in red dresses" sprung up one Lord, leaping up in excitement. Snow had fallen fast and with a leap and a jump a few got a surprise snowball in their faces. Luckily some did not slip and fall or knock over a very big snowman along the way. The Lords a leaping, the bells are ringing, the snow is falling, the star is glowing. 

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Eleven Pipers Piping

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love sent to me 'Eleven Pipers Piping' ...... Peter Piper and his band of merry pipers namely Pip, Phillip, Pips, Pippy, Pipsqueak, Pipa, Phillipa, Pipette and the twins Pipkin & Pippin had been busy for weeks practising Christmas songs in secret for the ' Big Day'. Finally the day came and that Sunday, at dusk, the band set out for Ware Town Centre, all dressed in uniform with their pipes tucked safely under their arms. Once there, they made their way to the High Street where a huge Christmas Tree had been erected, all lit up and beautifully decorated. Very quietly the pipers gathered around the tree, the younger ones climbing up to the top for a better view. They couldn't wait till the morning when they would start playing their pipes, hoping to bring joy and Christmas cheer to the people of Ware. Tradition has it that the 11 Pipers represented the 11 Apostles (but not in this story!)

Twelve Drummers Drumming

The Artic Bears Snowband –  it is a little-known fact that The North Pole has its own drumming band - The Artic Bears Snowband. They are fantastic! On Christmas Eve, as Father Christmas sets off in his bright red sleigh full of wonderful presents, the Snowband plays merry tunes like The Little Drummer Boy and Seven Nation Army. Their jolly melodies help Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen get their 36 hooves off the ground as they begin their long long flight that goes around the whole world. The Artic Bears have four different colours on their tunics. These special festive colours are very important because they show which food they like best. The Yellow Drummers’ moistest favourite food is bananas; the Purple Drummers absolutely love Ribena; the Orange Drummers adore Wotsits and the Brown Drummers are big fans of Butterscotch Angel Delight; but who isn’t?. During the Summer, the Drummers like to play with other bands, particularly at the big festivals like Santa Calling and The Cold Christmas Village Fete. Cindy B plays in a band called Santa Ana Baby; Ginger B tours with Baileys Irish Cream and during lockdown Ringo recorded The White Christmas Album with his friends - The Festive Four. Dave G, on the other hand, spent the summer learning to fly with Keith and Rudolph. The Artic Bears Snowband were about to fly home for Christmas from Stansted Airport just as Mr. Johnson said we all had to Stay At Home. So, this year they have decided to have a Merry Christmas in Ware High Street. Luckily, they are all one big family so they don’t need to socially distance. Like many of us, they will be making full use of Zoom virtually serenading Father Christmas and his reindeer team on Christmas Eve. If you listen quietly you may just hear them...

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