"Twelve Days of Christmas" glorifies Christ

The wonderful Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, is one that is usually sung during the Christmas season celebrating and commemorating the first Advent of our Lord.

But when you begin to think of the words, one might ask…

How in the world does a bird in a tree, the mention of hens, geese and swans all have to do with Christmas? We didn’t even get to the milking, dancing and leaping about. It sounds like a party with animals and people all joining in unity of the partying theme.
Actually, it was a party, but one that was done in secret. History tells us that in the last 1500’s in Europe, it was criminal to opening celebrate Christ or anything about Him. So during the Christmas holiday it looked very different from what we have now in our culture. Contrary to our grand church celebrations, homes filled with d├ęcor, lights, trees, stores that decorate in September, and many more, in the 1500’s the best they were able to celebrate without going to jail is to join in singing this carol.
This cumulative song, The Twelve Days of Christmas is a format where each verse is built on top of the previous verses. There are twelve verses total, each describing a gift given by "my true Love". This song became a popular hymn to be sung as a way to joyfully celebrate Christmas under the current law as well as phonetic tool to help others memorize important Biblical truths and theology themes.

Let’s take a look a little more closely to the meaning and interpretation of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The” gift” is on the left and the Interpretation from the Bible is on the right:

1. The partridge in a pear tree =Jesus Christ.

2. Two turtle doves = Old and New Testaments

3. Three French hens = faith, hope and love.

4. The four calling birds = four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

5. The five golden rings = Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

6. The six geese a-laying = six days of creation.

7. Seven swans a-swimming = the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit - Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

8. The eight maids a-milking = the eight beatitudes.

9. Nine ladies dancing = the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

10. The ten lords a-leaping = the Ten Commandments.

11. The eleven pipers piping = for the eleven faithful disciples.

12. The twelve drummers drumming = the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Now that we all know the true meaning behind this Christmas song, we can sing it with a new understanding, in helps to recall the faith of Christianity and as a wonderful reminder of

Christ…our true love and the spectacular gifts He has given to each one who will receive them.

May the Lord enrich your relation with Him to overflow as you wait upon Him for the 2nd Advent

Merry Christmas!

© Copyright 2011 Simone Lake All Rights Reserved

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History of the Candy Cane

The candy cane is a popular treat that everyone seems to love.  The strong peppermint

flavor mixed with sugar is something both young and old can’t get enough of.  Whether you bite it off and crunch it between your teeth, or lick away the stripes, it always seems to be gone before we would like it to be, however there are more to get to eat especially during this time of year.

Ever wonder how this favorite candy that we all know and love became so popular?

Well, one of the first historical references to the candy cane dates back to 1670, when a choir leader in Germany purposely bent the sugar-sticks into canes to represent a shepherd's staff.  The form and symbolism of the staff, was meant as a reminder of Christ who not only the Savior of the world, but is also our good Shepherd (in Psalm 23 and John 10.).

There are also historical references in regards to symbolism for Christians during various times in history. It was known as a “secret sign” to those living in difficult times of worldly oppression where one could not openly share their faith in Christ.  It was also believed that the shape of the candy cane was not only shaped as a cane, but as the letter “J” for Jesus.  The colors of red and white represents the blood and purity of Jesus Chris and the three red stripes (in the first candy canes) were meant to describe the Holy Trinity. The hardness of the candy represents the Church's foundation on the solid rock of Jesus and the peppermint flavor represents the use of hyssop and other herbs referred to many times in the Bible. Some of these instances in the Bible include when the kings brought gifts to baby Jesus and when the women gathered and herbs to take to the body of Christ when He had risen.

This year when you are eating your candy cane, remember the symbolic references to Christ.  Rejoice and bow the knee to the One who came and the One who is coming!

 © Copyright 2011 Simone Lake. All Rights Reserved