The Twelve Days of Christmas


I recently heard that, to buy all these items as a gift for someone for Christmas, would now cost over one hundred thousand dollars, given todays inflated  ‘values’!  WOW!  I have no way of knowing the cost way back when this was first written; I do know however, that it is always a popular song (and poem) at this special time of year. 

Enjoy reading this; even sing it if you know the tune, but don’t forget the real reason for Christians celebrations at Christmas time:  Jesus is the name and it is His birthday that we celebrate. 

Fortunately, in Canada, we are free to celebrate despite many attempts to erase God, Jesus or Christmas from our vocabulary; our schools and our places of business.  It is not so in many countries around the world; and so,  here I am sharing it again!  This was given to me a couple of Christmases ago, and it is still asked for!

From 1558 to 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning:  the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember.

–         The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

–         Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

–         Three French hens stood for Faith, Hope and Love.

–         The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

–         The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

–         The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

–         Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit:  Prophesy Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.

–         The eight maids a-milking were the eight Beatitudes.

–         Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

–         The ten Lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.

–         The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Disciples.

–         The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

MERRY (Twelve Days of) CHRISTMAS to you, one and all!

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