There are quite a few stories of the song The 12 Days of Christmas going around. The songs origins are sometime in the late 16th century. We don't know exactly how the song was originally written or who wrote it. The song took nearly 250 years to come to its final version. One prevailing theory is that the song was originally conceived to be a memory tool for kids during Christmas time.
And this theory is where the song gets really interesting. Each day's gifts represent a "present" which God gave to us. God being the "true love" that gives us gifts. In this I am reminded of Jesu_s calling us to return and remain in our first and true love, God himself (Revelation 2:4). The list of what each day's present is below.
Day 1: A Partridge in a Pear Tree (Jesus on the cross. In ancient times a partridge was often seen as a divine symbol.)
Day 2: Two Turtle Doves (The Old and New Testament. Doves also symbolize peace.)
Day 3: Three French Hens (God the Father, Holy Spirit and Jesus. Also Faith Love and Hope from 1 Corinthians 13:13.)
Day 4: Four Calling Birds (The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.)
Day 5: Five Golden Rings (The Pentateuch or first five bible books. Records the fall of man and God's promise to save.)
Day 6: Six Geese A-Laying (The six days of creation.)
Day 7: Seven Swans a Swimming (The traditional seven gifts of the Holy Spirit)
Day 8: Eight Maids a Milking (The eight beatitudes taught by Jesus in Matthew 5:3-10)
Day 9: Nine Ladies Dancing (The nine fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22)
Day 10: Ten Lords A-Leaping (The Ten Commandments.)
Day 11: Eleven Pipers Piping (The Eleven Faithful Disciples of Jesus.)
Day 12: Twelve Drummers Drummin' (The traditional twelve points of t_he Apostles' Creed.)
Regardless of the actual truth to above references as a memory tool for kids, it's a cool way of looking at the song. Surely, all these "presents" given to us from God are to be cherished! We need to write the truth of God onto our hearts (Proverbs 7:3). Whatever way we can do that, even through a funny song, is a benefit. God is a giver. We owe him thanks for all we have, in every good gift (James 1:17).
This Christmas when you hear this song, listen in. Think of writing these gifts of God on your heart in worship to him!
Fun Fact: There are 364 total gifts received in the course of the song. Enough for one per day in a leap year!
worship Him 24/7...
Check out the version of the song below with altered modern lyrics by Jaime Jamgochian!