~ The 12 days of Christmas are from December 25th – January 6
~ January 6 is called the epiphany and it it considered the day that the Maji (wise men) came to visit the Lord and gave Him gifts – this is the widely recognized reason why we give gifts at Christmas now
~ Gift giving at Christmas, as we do now, is a fairly new tradition
~ Christmas became a national Holiday in 1870
~ Candy Canes represent Christ: held one way they are the shape of a “J” (for Jesus) and the other way the represent the Shepard's Hook. Of the stripes? Red for the blood and white for innocence... what a great witnessing tool!
The Twelve Days of Christmas:
(Found on: http://www.abcog.org/12days.htm)
One partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophesy, serving, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership, and mercy.
Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
From here on, the order is different from the original song!
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
(Information from Catholic Information and Urban Legends websites)
I hope you enjoyed my four part series on Gift-giving -- want more? Let me know in the comments below!