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A piece of coal....or The "F" words...



In my holiday collection of Santas, there is also a new one. Tho not "Santa" in particular, she is quite like O' Saint Nicholas himself. She's La Befana. An Italian Folklore symbol. According to legend she shows up to hand out gifts to good, happy children on the eve of January 6th. Coal if they're bad. I have several miniature 'Santas' from foreign lands...all bone china. As of this little new one here today, she joins the rest...one from China, one from Germany, one from Ireland, one from Switzerland, one from Old Mexico, and a Native American...all in tradtional garb of that particular section of the world. She is usually portrayed as an old lady riding a broomstick through the air wearing a black shawl and is covered in soot because she enters the children's houses through the chimney. She is often smiling and carries a bag or hamper filled with candy, gifts, or both. Christian legend has it that La Befana was approached by the magi (the biblical three kings) a few days before Christ's birth. They asked for directions to where the baby Jesus was, but she did not know. She provided them with shelter for a night, as she was considered the best housekeeper in the village with the most pleasant home. They invited her to join them on the journey to find the baby Jesus, but she declined, stating she was too busy with her housework. Later, La Befana had a change of heart, and tried to search out the astrologers and Jesus. That night she was not able to find them, so to this day, La Befana is searching for the baby Jesus. She leaves all the good children toys and candy, while the bad children get coal. You can read much more of her, her legend, the history at the link I provided above. January 6th is the day of the Epiphany...a holiday celebrated by many. In more Eastern Christian cultures the date is "fairly clear that the Baptism was the primary event being commemorated". Read more of the history of this occasion here. Tho I don't practice this observance, it was an interesting read for me, and besides, La Befana and the association of the holiday season is reason to add her to my collection.

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"The 'F' Words"

AT PRECISELY------------

Four fifteen:
fiddling foolishly...... flagging furry foot ...... foolheaded, facetious, farcical, fluffy, feline found fishing for floating, fetching fixtures fastened firmly from filmy, flimsy, fibrous fishline from foliage forks far from flourishing fringed fir; fun-filled & fascinating. Finally, furbaby fell flat, facedown, fixed firmly frozen, for fifty four fleeting flutters; forever freed from found frenzy.

Foto feature found from Firefox foraging

"You know you're getting old, when Santa starts looking younger."
~Robert Paul

POSTED: Friday, December 11th, 2009
12:35 A.M.


  1. Anonymous12/11/2009

    now say that 7 times in a row... heehee!!!! Now I'm tongue tied and twisted (nothing new for me)... with grins and warm hugs, have a great day Anni!!! Thanks for the fun 55!

  2. Oh Annie...
    Good Morning Sweetie. I am burning the midnight oil again. Can't sleep. Anyway I so love this post. I have never heard of La Befana, but now I know who she is, and what she represents. You know me, I love a history lesson from you. She is just precious. Tis the Reason for the Season.
    You have quite a collection of breakables.

    I so love this picture of the cat. The "F" words, now that is a new one. I was trying to figure out what in the world. (When I saw your title come up.)

    Have a beautiful day sweetie. Please stop by and read my post. I can't wait to share with you today. You are going to love it.

    Country hugs sweetie...Sherry

  3. Anonymous12/11/2009

    Well done on your 55 my friend. Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickle Peppers. LOL. You are a genius I tell you. Nice Santa Claus and your quote...ain't that the truth. Have a wonderful Friday my friend :)

  4. forever freed...i do hope so. how did you ever find so many f words! lol. great 55!

    mine is up!

  5. what a great story...In January 6th.. we celebrate "Three Kings Day.. I have to read more of the story tonight....Thanks for sharing and La Befana... is beautiful.....Hugs

  6. Your newest Santa impersonator is lovely - great reading about the traditions. This is the first I've heard of the 6th (Epiphany) being the baptism - I was always taught it was the day the wisemen actually arrived. No decorations could come down, or gifts be removed from under the tree until they arrived to see it. I still follow that tradition. As for the F words - you're amazing, and that's quite a tongue twister! B : )

  7. B--- Yep, I read this and wondered about that myself. It makes more sense being that of the arrival of the magi instead of Baptism, but that's what I copied from the site...

  8. I loved looking at your Santas. I have collected a few, too. Thanks for your visit.

  9. Love the story! She is kind of cute. Like the cat too.

  10. Have never heard of La Befana before, interessantissimo!

    Loved your "F" words, lol!
    very creative!

  11. Oh Anni, I have never heard of the Italian La Befana before this! How interesting and how wonderful that you have something so unique to add to your collection.
    Thanks for stopping by this morning. Hope you are having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas. I am busy, busy, busy... LOL

  12. This has to be the most clever 55 yet! I just love the decorating you've done here. The twinkling snow flakes are great! Happy Friday!

  13. F-f--f-f-f...

    That ain't assonance. That's a good a creative 55!

  14. What a nice collection to have. I'm glad you shared a part of it with us. I never knew that story before. Thanks!

  15. Fabulous, fantastic,forthright, freaky, first rate 55! jeNN

  16. FFFFOr god's sake! This is fffrilliant Anni!

  17. Hi, I enjoyed reading the story of La Befana, it made me smile. I think in every country, Santa comes in different personalities, but they do the same goodness to mankind especially to children.

  18. J thinks he's got the email fixed now. Test it out for me please

    that 55 is a twisted tale

  19. What a wonderful tale! I LOVE it! I've never heard that and found it so interesting, and your little statue is just lovely too!

  20. I found La Befana fascinating. It's always interesting to me how certain things are so similar.

    Fabulous fifty-five!

    Flash Dancing

  21. Ha! Fantastic!
    Fun and Fresh

  22. I've never heard of LeBefana before, and it was interesting to read about her. I would love to see your collection.

  23. Love it all..the decor, the stories and the cat!
    Thanks for visiting!

  24. La Befana !! She is the most important childhood memory of Mr. G ! There was no Santa Claus in his home in Italy and no Christmas tree but a huge creche and gifts were given by the Befana (which means witch) on January 6th ! Our son was very happy about all these uses. He got gifts for Santa Claus (very important in Belgium) for Christmas, very important for Germans and the Befana very important for Italians, lol !
    It's the first time I see a Befana figurine !!!

  25. Gattina...I had forgotten that Mr. G is Italian. This no doubt [Befana] brought back good memories for you with your son then. Bud was really pleased to have found this figurine to add to my collection of 'foreign' china dolls I have.

  26. You have certainly peaked my interest this Morning! I have never heard of this tale of Christmas before. Thanks for sharing and Have a Blessed Holiday!

  27. Fantastic foray for Flash Fiction Fifty Five.

  28. Here in Italy Befana is so much awaited especially from the children....and from us, the bikers, who go through town all day on our bikes giving gifts to the less fortunate children, in hospital or orphanage, it's a so very special day.
    Gracie at http://mylittleplace.blog.com

  29. What a lovely Santa collection you have. Just found you via Mrs. Twins. Hope I can follow along. Stop by my garden when you have a chance.


  30. Anni, I absolutely adore your La Befana. What a terrific piece to add to your collection. I would like to see your collection of Santas from all of those countries.

    Your flash fiction is very feline this morning and the photo is cute.

    I haven't had my followers on my blog for ages...probably 6 months or more. It kept freezing the page. If you have any suggestions about that, please let me know.


  31. HI Anni,
    Thanks for sharing such an interesting story. Growing up, we always left our tree up til the 6th, although no one ever really explained why! Now I understand the tradition better. Your La Befana is a great addition to your collection.
    Thanks for visiting, hope you'll stop by again.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Heidi - Heart and Home

  32. Anonymous12/11/2009

    I'd never heard of her before. That's an interesting and sweet story. I like the border on your pictures, too. Thank you for sharing. Rosie

  33. Loved the story about La Befonna. I had never heard of her! Thanks for sharing & for coming by to visit me for Show & Tell Friday. Merry Christmas! Charlene

  34. Wow Anni that wasa mouthfull Loved it I learnt a couple of words and that is always great I actually have a website just for new words I've learned. so Thanks For That Anni.
    Thanks for stopping by this blog of mine I apreciate all of your fun comments.
    This Blog Of Mine

  35. I would like to that you for stopping by. I don't know what I do wrong but I could not get that link on my sidebar. I am a total idiot>
    Thanks again
    I do really enjoy your posts.

  36. Fucking Fantastic Fifty Five!!

    Friends Forever?


  37. That was very interesting. I had never heard of La Befana. I learned something new today. Thanks! And thanks for visiting my blog & leaving me a comment on my Christmas decor. I really enjoy seeing what everyone collects & decorates with at Christmas.

  38. Hello, Anni,
    I enjoyed seeing your Le Befana and hearing her legend. I am a retired schoolteacher and always enjoyed reading legends and folk lore to my students. Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season. Vicki

  39. Are there any F words you didn't use in your 55. That was different.

  40. Well we dragons don't like the letter F. We don't. We aren't sure why. That many in a row makes us nervous.
    Great 55 though.

  41. Interesting legend, I have never heard it before. Happy Holidays!

  42. That was very cute! I love orange cats. I'm really impressed with all of your "f" words ;)

  43. Fifty Five from friendly freelancers. Fiercely funny.

  44. Wow, that IS a lot of F-words. :)
    What a fun frivolous Friday 55. :)

    (See? I can do it too! :D )

  45. OMG! That was a lot of work! Very good!

  46. Never heard of La Benfa what a great story. I know there quite a few places that separate the birth of Christ and Santa.

    I like this so much I'm going to post on my facebook page and twitter.

    Coffee is on.

  47. Aren't you just a clever gal! Cute 55!!! ♥♥♥ (And I trusted you!)

  48. Hi Anni, Great post and how wonderful is La Befana is... And great story to go along with her... LOVED it! We have in the Greek community of Tarpon Springs a beautiful Epiphany every year... The young man who retrieves the cross will receive a special blessing and, custom says, enjoy a year of prosperity... A great event to witness... Have a wonderful day!


  49. Thank you for sharing, I was unaware of this tradition in Italy. Great to know and I LOVE your collection.

    Thank you again; have a GRAND weekend.

  50. Really enjoyed this post Anni! How interesting.
    ARe you ready for Christmas?Soon be here.
    Thanks for sharing with us all,
    Hugs and LOve Suex

  51. I love the research you did for your post! I had never heard the story of LaBefana before. Thanks for sharing! Also, I would love to share pictures of my holiday decorations this year! What I great idea! I would also love to see everyone's beautiful Christmas decorations!

  52. I love your santas.

  53. Freakin' fantastic!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  54. Thanks for sharing this story. I've never heard it before and can't wait to share it with my family. Have a wonderful day.

  55. Hi Anni!

    What a cool little Christmas figurine! We are having a full traditional Italian Dinner for christmas thi year and I will have to include this bit of trivia to the festivities!

    Have a wonderful day!

  56. Fabulously fun fifty-five!


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