The Twelve Daze

Stunned by Gifts and the Giving

Story and Photos by Alice Schenk

“Dad, Mom, there are some big birds out on the front lawn,” one of the Gentry children said to her parents on the sixth day of Christmas in 2003. Thinking it was blackbirds, the parents went to the window and were astonished to see geese populating the front of the house. Not only that, but each bird wore a bright red Christmas bow around its neck. And one of the geese was laying eggs on a pan filled with Easter grass that already held eggs of red and green. It was the sixth day of Christmas.

We live in Rupert, and the Gentry family lives thirteen miles from us in Declo. Stealth was essential to our mission. We certainly couldn’t park in front of their house, especially because they live on a main highway. We parked down the road a ways and sneaked up to the house carrying our treasure, which we deposited and arranged before slipping away. It was important not only to catch them by surprise but to avoid being discovered in their yard.

Glade Gentry owns a business near Declo Junior High and High School. Early on the fifth day of Christmas, the phone calls had started pouring in about the decorations in front of his shop door. If I say so myself, I think the five golden rings were awesome: five wooden toilet seats, each spray-painted in gold. We had also delivered five glazed donuts to the family and five children’s rings, so it wasn’t a total loss for them. But I did ask to get those precious seats back, because to replace them for future Twelve Days of Christmas gifting would be difficult and expensive.

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