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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday History & Gift Giving Ideas for Paddlers

Every holiday season it is a mad rush to find the perfect presents for your friends and family.  Between old traditions and new demands - it is hard to take time to remember what the fuss is all about to begin with - like what are the origins of some of our more favourite traditions and carols?

For instance.... what do leaping lords, french hens, specifically 5 golden rings, and the partridge who truly enjoys his pear tree have to do with Christmas?

We decided to do some digging and here is what we uncovered......

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Somewhere along the lines, the song we know & love so well today, was actually written as a catechism song for young Catholics - a teaching tool with two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.   This song was an important teaching tool to the followers of the Catholic faith at this time because any written word showing belief in Christ would ensure not only their imprisonment but perhaps even death by hanging (or worse).  Thus the song's "gifts" became hidden meanings to the teachings of the Christian faith.

The "true love" refers to God Himself.
The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person.
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The other symbols are thought to have the following meaning:

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

As this song has different meanings, so too this time of year holds different meanings for different people.   Yet many of us do celebrate the season similarly by exchanging gifts.  To help ease some of the difficulty of finding that perfect gift for the paddler on your list - check out these great suggestions:

Besides the obvious Badger Paddle as a gift, why not include our limited edition Badger Paddle "paw"necklace as a stocking stuffer??!!!  Made from shed moose antler, each pendant necklace is handcrafted and shows an artist's rendition of the Badger "paw" logo.  Each necklace is one-of-a-kind and includes an adjustable waxed cord for hanging around the neck.  MSRP:  $20.00 + taxes/shipping.  Contact us for more details.

Another great gift idea for the younger paddler on your list (besides a vibrantly tinted Cub Water Colours paddle) is this great new children's book by Shelly Posen titled "The Christmas Canoe".  It is a story of old traditions mixed with the new as Father Christmas and his elves travel through the sky in a voyageur canoe.  Only $12.95 this book is available at  Great reading fun for the kids 'n cubs on your list!

Another great reading suggestion, for the adult paddlers on your list, is a subscription to a favourite paddling magazine.  Right now you can give a four-issue gift print subscription to Rapid, Kayak Angler, Adventure Kayak or Canoeroots for only $14.95! That's a savings of over 58% off the cover price!!! This holiday deal expires on December 18th, so ACT NOW and give the best paddling magazines today!  Enter "HOLIDAYDEC18" as your redeem/coupon code to save.  You’ll even receive a Free One-Year Digital Subscription to the same magazine, a $9.95 value.  Click here for more info & to subscribe:  And don't forget to check out Swift Canoe & Kayak for a great selection of Badger Paddles, including some Badger Water Colours - if it is gear that you are looking for - or visit Algonquin Outfitters, who still have a few Badger's left in stock.

And our last suggestion is for YOU, a reminder, to take the time to really "dig" your HOLIDAZE!!!!

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