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The 12 Days of Christmas and Their True Meaning!

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There’s no question that the 12 days of Christmas is a popular song. I hear it every Christmas and have never thought much about it.

There are basically 12 days of Christmas gifts but I have to admit they are all a little strange.

It wasn’t until this past Christmas that I learned the 12 days of Christmas meaning. It all started with my women’s bible study group.

Every Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus by giving each other gifts and having a special get together.

This last Christmas celebration was along the same lines but our bible study leader suggested that we use the theme 12 days of Christmas.

Here’s a brief overview of how we celebrated the 12 days of Christmas as a bible study group.

  1. Our bible study leader assigned us each a day out of the 12 days. I was assigned the five golden rings.
  2. We wrote a 1-2 page bible devotion for the day we were assigned and made copies of it for each person in our bible study.
  3. We purchased the same gift for each person in our study related to the day we were assigned.

It worked perfectly. I made a devotion for the five golden rings and then I got gifts that coordinated. When we had our Christmas get together, we gave each person in our bible study a copy of the devotion and the coordinating gift.

One of the girls in our bible study group is super talented so she made a book cover for our devotion pages and bound them together. After the party, we started the 12 days of Christmas.

Each day, we would read the devotion for that day and open the coordinating gift. It was 12 days of blessing each other with a devotional and a gift. I was so blessed by it!

12 Days of Christmas

What are the 12 Days of Christmas?

Through this celebration with my bible study group, I learned the meaning of the 12 days of Christmas. In a nutshell, each gift is a gift from God to believers.

Each day is a different gift and is essential for our growth to be more like Jesus Christ.

When do the 12 Days of Christmas Start?

The 12 days start on Christmas Day. The first day is December 25th which is appropriate because Jesus is the first gift. The last day is January 5th.

12 Days of Christmas

I’m so excited to share what I learned about the 12 days of Christmas. My intention is to share as much as I know. I’m going to break it down into the following categories so it will be easy to follow.

  • 12 Days of Christmas List
  • 12 Days of Christmas Gifts
  • 12 Days of Christmas Meaning
  • 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics

12 Days of Christmas List

This is a numbered list of the 12 days of Christmas gifts in order from day 1 to day 12.

  1. A Partridge in a Pear Tree
  2. Two Turtle Doves
  3. Three French Hens
  4. Four Calling Birds
  5. Five Golden Rings
  6. Six Geese Laying
  7. Seven Swans Swimming
  8. Eight Maids Milking
  9. Nine Ladies Dancing
  10. Ten Lords Leaping
  11. Eleven Pipers Piping
  12. Twelve Drummers Drumming

12 Days of Christmas Meaning

12 Days of Christmas Gifts

Each day has a different meaning and as I mentioned above is a gift from God. This is an explanation of the 12 Days of Christmas gifts for each day.

Day One – A Partridge in a Pear Tree

The partridge in a pear tree represents the greatest gift of all, Jesus. He is the son of God and it is His birthday that we celebrate on Christmas. He is the creator of all things and His name is above every name.

Day Two – Two Turtle Doves

The two turtle doves represent the Old and New Testaments. The entire Bible has everything we need to know to live life. We get to have God’s Word and His plan for us in our hands. It’s available to everyone and never returns void.

Day Three – Three French Hens

The three French hens are Faith, Hope, and Love. This gift is found in 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. God asks us to have Faith in believing the unseen, Hope that good things can come from bad, and Love as Christ loves us.

Day Four – Four Calling Birds

The four calling hens are the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. John 7:37-38 tells us to come to Jesus if we thirst and out of our body will flow rivers of living water.

The four books of the gospel were written by four men that were filled with rivers of living water. These gospels call us to know God’s Truth.

Day Five – Five Golden Rings

The five golden rings represent the first five books of the Old Testament also known as the Torah or the Pentateuch. The beginning of God’s revelation to man is found in the first five books.

They also contain the law and they also share God’s plan for redemption.

Day Six – Six Geese Laying

The six geese represent the days of creation. I know creation involves 7 days but day 7 was a resting day for God. Each egg represents a day in creation as God formed it. It can be traced back to the first book in the Bible, Genesis.

Day Seven – Seven Swans Swimming

The seven swans represent the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Prophecy, Ministry, Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Leading, and Compassion.

Each gift has a purpose and is meant for each one of us. They are all different but they have the same purpose, to glorify Him.

Day Eight – Eight Maids Milking 

The eight maids milking represent the beatitudes. Jesus came to earth as a servant. Being a milkmaid represents the lowest jobs.

This shows us that Jesus cares about everyone from the servant to the royal person. The beatitudes are important because we are to be like Christ and the beatitudes teach us just that.

There were eight that were blessed, the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

Day Nine-Nine Ladies Dancing

The nine ladies dancing represent the fruits of the spirit. The fruits of the spirit are nine different attributes we can receive when we’ve accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.

These fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Each attribute fits together and is essential to glorifying the Lord through our life.

Day Ten-Ten Lords Leaping

The ten lords leaping are the ten commandments. These commandments were given to us to protect us. We need guidelines and need to learn to live within them.

God loves us so much that He gave us the ten commandments. Not as a rule book but as an act of love.

Day Eleven – Eleven Pipers Piping

The elven pipers piping are the disciples. Now, you may be saying “Wait! There were 12 disciples”. The answer is yes there were but when Judas committed suicide there were only eleven disciples that shared the gospel.

Jesus chose ordinary men and that means we can share the gospel too.

Day Twelve –  Twelve Drummers Drumming

The twelve drummers drumming represents the twelve points of the apostle’s creed.  These are the twelve points of our basic beliefs.

This can also be tied to the catholic church prayer but I’m going to list it out as the twelve points of our faith.

  1. We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
  2. We believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son.
  3. We believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.
  4. We believe Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
  5. We believe Jesus rose from the grave on the third day.
  6. We believe that Jesus ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God.
  7. We believe that Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead.
  8. We believe in the Holy Spirit.
  9. We believe the church is universal.
  10. We believe in the communion of the saints.
  11. We believe in the forgiveness of sins.
  12. We believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting in Christ.
12 Days of Christmas

12 Day of Christmas Lyrics

You probably know the 12 days of Christmas song lyrics but I feel that it is important to include them.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
10 lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
11 pipers piping
10 lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
12 drummers drumming
11 pipers piping
10 lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree

The 12 Days of Christmas Meaning is such a Blessing!

It amazes me how so many people sing this song but they have no idea what it means. The 12 days of Christmas song is one of the many precious gifts that we should be thankful for!

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