Wow, just look at these ideas and treats
You can be sure that whoever receives these goodies is going to be really excited and well chuffed. Just click on the picture or link to see more:
12 Days of Christmas - Origin and Meaning
Where do these 'twelve' days come from?
One reason offered is that it took the 'Three Kings' twelve days to find baby Jesus and many years later, in medieval France, this led to the creation of the Feast of Epiphany. This long celebration was gradually taken up by other countries but because the workers were needed back at their work, the long Christmas season was shortened to twelve days - Twelfth Night being 6th January. The Monday following Epiphany was called 'Plough Monday' signalling the return of the workers to the fields.
Most people know the words of the song, which started out as just that - a 'song'. Over the years, however, it has been interpreted as having religious meaning.
Going back to the period in England when the Catholic religion was totally banned, and very severe penalties were in force for anyone who disobeyed, it was said to be an English 'catechism song' written to help young Catholics remember one of the main parts of their religion. Because it was so catchy it was not necessary to write it down, so there was no evidence to prove that the faith was being practised.
The gifts mentioned in the song are supposedly hidden meanings associated with faith but there is no real proof of these. The meanings below seem to be the most regularly seen.
Day 1 - 'True Love' refers to God; 'me' is every baptized person and the 'partridge in a pear tree' is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. A female partridge will go to great lengths to protect her young even giving up her own life so they might survive.
Day 2 - Two turtle doves refers to the Old and New Testaments.
Day 3 - Three French hens refer to Faith, Hope and Charity - Theological Virtues
Day 4 - Four calling birds is the Four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Day 5 - Five gold rings. These refer to the first five books of the Old Testament which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
Day 6 - Six geese-a-laying, refers to the six days of creation.
Day 7 - Seven swans-a-swimming, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit , the seven sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Anointing the Sick, Holy Orders and Marriage).
Day 8 - Eight maids-a-milking - the eight beatitudes (Matthew Chapter 5, Verses 3-12)
Day 9 - Nine ladies dancing refers to the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 ~ Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Gentleness, Temperance, Humility and Faith).
Day 10 - Ten lords-a-leaping, the ten commandments.
Day 11 - Eleven pipers piping, the eleven apostles who kept faith with Jesus. Day 12 - Twelve drummers drumming, the twelve points of belief in the Apostle's Creed