"The 12 Days of Christmas" is one of the most popular Christmas songs ever. It gets played repeatedly on the radio throughout the holiday season. To the average listener, the song is just about a person who receives a lot of gifts from their smitten lover. What if that wasn't the case, though? What if the song originated for religious learning?
Taught to young children, "The 12 Days of Christmas" originated within the Catholic Church in order to help young Christians learn the important points of their faith.
Starting on the twelfth day, I'll go down the list of what each day stands for according to the Catholic Church.
12 Drummers Drumming: This represents the twelve points of belief stated in the Apostle's Creed.
11 Pipers Piping: This is for the eleven faithful disciples.
10 Lords-A-Leaping: This refers to the ten commandments.
9 Ladies Dancing: This represents the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. The fruits being kindness, charity, patience, modesty, mildness, joy, fidelity, chastity, and peace.
8 Maids of Milking: This refers to the eight beatitudes.
7 Swans-A-Swimming: This stands for the seven gifts given to Christians from the Holy Spirit. The gifts are mercy, teaching, prophecy, serving, leadership, contribution, and exhortation.
6 Geese-A-Laying: This stands for the six days of creation, also known as the six work days. The Sabbath day isn't included because no one is supposed to work on that day.
5 Golden Rings: This represents the first five books of the Old Testament.
4 Calling Birds: This refers to the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, also known as the four gospels.
3 French Hens: This simply stands for love, faith, and hope.
2 Turtle Doves: This is for the 2 parts of the Bible, the New and Old Testaments.
A Partridge In A Pear Tree: This refers to Jesus Christ, who died on a cross because he loved the world too much to let it fall to ruin.
It's fun to learn new things, isn't it? This song not only teaches children the important parts of their faith, but it also reminds everyone why we celebrate Christmas to begin with.
This holiday is not about who gets the most toys, or money, or Santa Claus. It's about spending time with your family, friends, and loving the world like God intended. This holiday season, try not to focus so much on what gifts you want and focus more on the things that truly matter. Don't let any scrooges get you down and be happy instead. This is the most beautiful time of the year and we shouldn't allow anyone, or ourselves, to be unhappy in the most joyous of seasons.