I love the song The 12 Days of Christmas. It’s fun. It’s festive. It keeps my mind active and sharp remembering what my true love gave me on what day and saying the days in reverse. As you may know this is not just a Christmas song contrived for pure merriment. Persecuted Catholics made up this song with symbolism of their beloved Christian faith:
1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit.
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.
12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.*
Though the song represented the 12 days between Christmas and January 6, I was led to develop The 39 Days of Christmas, a blog series where I discuss a reference to Jesus Christ from each book of the Old Testament my 39 blog days before Christmas. Like stores that are well-stocked with commercial Christmas items months before the December celebration of our Savior’s birth, I wanted us Christians to be well-stocked with Scriptures that point to why celebrating Christmas, the Jesus Christ of Christmas, is so important and steeped in the Bible. He didn’t just happen to show up in a manger one day, but his arrival to earth was preordained and can be seen in the types and shadows (people, places, events and stories that foreshadow aspects of Christ and the Church) of the Old Testament. Salvation was planned for each of us. Let’s intentionally celebrate the One who gave it to us.
Celebrate by reading all the posts in this series by searching on this site The 39 Days of Christmas or by clicking the links below (that are still being added):
*Taken from The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Meaning Behind the Song at www.holytrinitynewrochelle.org.
Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith