The 12 Days of Christmas is a fun tradition that many do not celebrate or even understand. We all know the song, The 12 Days of Christmas and most of us can sing it by heart. But there is so much more to this than a fun lighthearted song.
So, then what are the 12 Days of Christmas?! I am so glad you asked!
The 12 days of Christmas is the period that in Christian theology marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 5 which leads into January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day).
A popular theory that’s made the rounds on the internet is that the lyrics to “The 12 Days of Christmas” are coded references to Christianity; it theorizes that the song was written to help Christians learn and pass on the tenets of their faith while avoiding persecution. As this is STILL theory, please take this with a large grain of salt.
Here is the breakdown of the days:
- The partridge in the pear tree, naturally, represents Jesus Christ.
- 2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
- 3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
- 4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
- 5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch,” which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.
- 6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
- 7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
- 8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
- 9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
- 10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
- 11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
- 12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed
It would be a wonderful thing if we could share this song with the idea of making it a way to remember the tenets of our faith but nonetheless, it is a fun song to sing over the holidays!
Nowadays we can’t offer things like turtle doves or milking maids as gifts BUT we can make some fun and memorable moments with our family. We have some traditions that we like to do every year as a family and let me tell you, the kids are quick to reminds us that we have “things” to do before Christmas arrives! Especially the Christmas Wish Lists that they fill out each year for gifts. Often these are asked for months in advance!
What new traditions or family favorite traditions do you and your family have?
Because you bless me so much, I want to also offer this Christmas Literacy Creative Printable Pack to you. It will also offer some fun creative work for the Christmas season.
Fill out the form below to receive your printable pack.
And as always, remember the true reason for the season and may your Christmas be full of blessings.
In His Grace,