Thirteen

wreath

Today was Friday, the thirteenth.

But now it’s midnight, and it’s the fourteenth of the month, so it looks as if I made it through yet another one of those scary, spooky days unscathed.  And with a minimum amount of blood to show for it.

I’m safe for another six months.  We won’t run across a Friday, the thirteenth again until June.

I don’t know what it is about the combination of this date and day of the week that makes people want to stay in bed and pull the covers over their heads.  It just seems so silly.  I think it must have something to do with all those Freddy-Krueger-in-a-hockey-mask movies my sisters went out to watch with their friends when they were teenagers.

The number thirteen is itself supposed to be unlucky — again for reasons that may be rooted deeply in historical (hysterical?) myth, but still unfathomable to myself.

I think thirteen is a beautiful number.  I hope that doesn’t make me evil or something.

In my faith, thirteen is the age of majority, the age at which young men achieve the status of bar mitzvah and are held to adult community standards of responsibility.  It is also the number of children fathered by Jacob in the Torah.

Thirteen is also a baker’s dozen (a thing of beauty in a bagel shop) and a prime number (a thing of beauty everywhere).

So I think that all those suffering from triskaidekaphobia are missing out on some good stuff.  But it always gave me a lot of laughs, growing up in New York City, standing in the elevator of a skyscraper and noticing that there was no button marked with the number 13.

The thirteenth of December puts us squarely in the middle of the Advent and is thirteen days until Christmas.  Which reminds me of the most hilarious version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” I have ever heard (performed by Indiana University’s a cappella group, Straight No Chaser), which you can listen to here.  Thanks to my wife for this one!

Meanwhile, I have Perry Como crooning “Home for the Holidays” through my headphones and I am looking forward to enjoying Christmas with my wife’s family less than two weeks from now.  Finally, we won’t have to drive 1,300 miles round-trip to pull off this trick.

And when I hear Doris Day sing “Be a Child at Christmas Time,” I will think of how blessed we are to be able to experience the holiday with my one year old grandniece.  She gets so excited any old time we walk through the door that I can’t imagine how she will react to dozens of gifts and a living room magically transformed into a sea of red and green wrapping paper.

Pass the fruitcake, please.

 

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