12 Days of Christmas (Archives-style)

In the waning days of 1858, Jonathan Blanchard, then president of Knox College, wrote home to his wife Mary. Among matters pertaining to the raising of the children, city taxes and sending a turkey to him, Jonathan broaches the topic of Christmas. According to Clyde Kilby’s account in Minority of One, “as long as he lived Jonathan Blanchard believed [Christmas] to be a pagan and Popish festival and [one he] would never recognize.” In his instructions back to the family Blanchard writes, “Maria would please me muchly by denying herself the Christmas frolic because it’s a fool’s day.” In this spirit of foolishness, we counter Jonathan’s ba-humbugs with the College Archives rendition of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Twelve Trustees Minutes
Eleven Reels of Sports Film
Ten King James Bibles
Nine Centennial Towers
Eight Homecoming Pins
Seven President’s Papers
Six Miles of Shelving
Five Bits of Bench
Four Crusader T-shirts
Three Blanchard Wives
Two Auca Spears
and a Lock of Julia Blanchard’s Hair

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