The Twelve Days of Christmas is an English Christmas carol first published in 1780 as a rhyme. In 1909 English composer Frederic Austin added the familiar music as well as the word "on" which starts each verse.
Translations and versions vary around the world, so for this jewelry photo showing, I'll include the familiar gifts given as well as some less well-known gift items. Also, I'll include the faith-based symbolism of each gift.
THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
On the First Day of Christmas my true love gave to me A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE
In most interpretations of the song, this represents Jesus
On the Second Day of Christmas my true love gave to me TWO TURTLE DOVES
Representing the Old and New Testaments
On the Third Day of Christmas my true love gave to me THREE FRENCH HENS
Representing Faith, Hope and Love or Faith, Hope and Charity, the three Theological Virtues
On the Fourth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me FOUR CALLING BIRDS
This verse is varied around the world and the gift includes COLLY BIRDS, which are black birds, CANARY BIRDS or COLORED BIRDS
The birds represent the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
On the Fifth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me FIVE GOLDEN RINGS
Representing the first five books of the Old Testament
On the Sixth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me SIX GEESE A-LAYING
This verse is sometimes sung with DUCKS A-LAYING
They represent the six days of creation
On the Seventh Day of Christmas my true love gave to me SEVEN SWANS A-SWIMMING
Representing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit or the Holy Sacraments: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy
On the Eighth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me EIGHT MAIDS A-MILKING
This verse's gift varies around the world and includes HARES A-RUNNING, HOUNDS A-RUNNING or BOYS A-SINGING
They represent the Eight Beatitudes
On the Ninth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me NINE LADIES DANCING
This verse is sometimes sung as LADIES SPINNING or BADGERS BAITING
They represent the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
Factoid: This verse and subsequent verses are often reordered.
On the Tenth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me TEN LORDS A-LEAPING
This verse is sometimes sung with BULLS A-BEATING
This represents the Ten Commandments
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my true love gave to me ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING
This verse is sometimes sung with SHIPS A-SAILING or BEARS A-BEATING
They represent the eleven faithful Apostles
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING
This verse is sometimes sung with COCKS A-CROWING or ASSES RACING
Representing the Twelve Points of Belief in The Apostles' Creed
SNOPES SAYS IT'S NOT TRUE
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly and many believe that this song was written during that time as a coded reference to the faith. According to Snopes.com that is not true and is a mid-20th-century idea with no historic basis in truth.
THE CUMULATIVE COST OF THE GIFTS
In 1984 PNC Bank began calculating the cost of all the gifts given through the 12th day....that's 364 items!
Two pricing charts were created: the Christmas Price Index and the True Cost of Christmas. The first is an index of the current costs of one set of each of the gifts given. The other is the cumulative cost of all the gifts with the repetitions listed in the song. Oh, and the people mentioned in the song are hired, not purchased.
The total costs of all goods and services for the 2015 Christmas Price Index is just over $34,000 and the true cost of Christmas is just under $155,000 for all 364 items.
A SMATTERING OF VIDEOS FROM YOUTUBE
An Interperative Dance
Straight No Chaser, a cappella
Share this post