The twelve days of Christmas


Some people tied to debunk this song as an “urban myth.”  Many have questioned the historical accuracy of the origin of the song.  Some say it was a “nonsense song” for children with “secular origins,” and it is a song of Christian instruction, perhaps dating to the 16th century religious wars in England, with hidden references to the basic teachings of the Christian Faith.
12Days
THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS refers to the days from Dec.25 to Jan 5.  Here it is for your perusal :
On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE.  The PARTRIDGE is Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate on Dec 25th.  He is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ’s sadness over the fate of Jerusalem :” Jerusalem, Jerusalem !  How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so.” (Luke 13:34)
On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 2 TURTLE DOVES :  The Old & the New Testament, which, together, bear witness to God’s self-revelation and the creation of a people to tell the story of God to the world.
On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 3 FRENCH HENS : The 3 Theological virtues —– Faith, Hope & Love (1Corinthians 13:13)
On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 4 CALLING BIRDS : The 4 Gospels —- Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, which proclaim the good news of God’s reconciliation of the world to Himself.
On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 5 GOLD RINGS : The 1st 5 Books of the Old Testament, known as the TORAH or PENTATEUCH : (1) Genesis (2) Exodus (3) Leviticus (4) Numbers and (5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity’s sinful failure and God’s response of Grace.
On the 6th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 6 GEESE A-laying : The 6dys of Creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world. (Genesis -1)
On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 7 SWANS A-swimming : The 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit : (1) Prophecy (2) Ministry (3) Teaching (4) Exhortation (5) Giving (6) Leading & (7) Compassion (Romans 12:6-8 ; 1Corinthian 12:8-11)
On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 8 MAIDS A-milking : The Eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10)
On the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 9 LADIES DANCING : The 9 Fruits of the holy Spirit : (1) Love (2) Joy (3) Peace (4) Patience (5) Kindness (6) Generosity (7) Faithfulness (8) Gentleness & (9) Self-Control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 10 LORDS A-leaping : The 10 Commandments.
On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 11 PIPERS PIPING : The 11 faithful Apostles : (1) Simon Peter (2) Andrew (3) James (4) John (5) Philip (6) Bartholomew (7) Matthew (8) Thomas (9) James, son of Alphaeus (10) Simon the Zealot (11) Judas bar James (Luke 6:14-16)  The list does not include the 12th apostle — Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 12 DRUMMERS DRUMMING : The 12 points of doctrine in the Apostles’ Creed.
The “true love” mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself.  Each day depicts some aspect of the Christian Faith, that was important for children to learn.
———– Dennis Bratcher, Copyright 2013.
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