Baker’s Dozen

thirteenIt’s 2013. I’m drinking tea and eating a biscuit. Wondering about a dozen.

A dozen is 12. A baker’s dozen? 13.

Why does a baker hook you up with another biscuit, or cookie, or bagel, or whatever?

Not that I’m complaining, I am just curious.

Bakers who were found to have shortchanged customers (some variations say that they would sell hollow bread) could be subject to severe punishment including judicial amputation of a hand. To guard against losing a hand to an axe, a baker would give 13 for the price of 12 in order to be certain of not being known as a cheat. Specifically, the practice of baking 13 items for an intended dozen was insurance against “short measure”, on the basis that one of the 13 could be lost, eaten, burnt, or ruined in some way, leaving the baker with the original legal dozen. (Wikipedia – Baker’s Dozen)

So a baker’s dozen come’s out of the fear of losing a hand? Oh, ok. I get it now. Who would want their reputation as a baker to come to a close by losing a hand for shorting a customer. I’d go with 13 too…just to make sure!

For 2013, perhaps we can look at a baker’s dozen from the consumer’s perspective…not the 12th Century consumer, but today’s consumer. Today’s consumer purchases 12 of an item and get’s 13. That is an unexpected surprise. An abundance. A gift.

What if we went around all year providing people with the baker’s dozen? What if we went a little past expectation? What if we gave a little more? What if the people we knew received a little more from us this year, as a gift…without a receipt?

Could this be the year of the Baker’s Dozen? I guess only you can decide that.

Back to my tea. It’s getting cold!


  1. Trevor Honeycutt · January 4, 2013

    From insurance to generosity. Like it!

  2. AnDraea · January 4, 2013

    I love it! Thanks for the encouragement. I can see how this can be applied in all aspects of life- in relation to our church fellowships, our bosses, our clients/customers, our neighbors, our families, strangers, friends-even our enemies. Good stuff brother.

    • marklchampion · January 4, 2013

      Amen, AnDrea. Thanks for reading. Glad you are able to see many places we can provide “baker’s dozens!”

  3. JL · January 7, 2013

    May you and all sentient beings receive a baker’s dozen of peace, joy, happiness and love this year and the years to come.

  4. Shane Ocon · January 8, 2013

    Thanks for the inspiration Mark. I love it!

    • marklchampion · January 9, 2013

      Thanks for reading Shane! I’m glad you enjoyed the Baker’s Dozen. You are a part of the extra portion Christ has given to the Church! A bonus! Thank you for your love and your portion.

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