Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas

1975 was the year of our first Christmas as a married couple.  Wanting to begin our own family traditions, I made a Christmas tree skirt that depicted images from the holiday song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.  I recently read a religious explanation for this holiday song, and I would like to pair these descriptions with closeup photos of the tree skirt that is now gracing our tree for its 37th Christmas.

The "Twelve Days," of course, stand for the Christmas season, between December 25 and January 6, and the "True Love" in the carol is God Himself, who gives Christians special gifts on each of the 12 days.

The first gift, "a partridge in a pear tree" symbolizes Christ as a bird,
gathering His young under His wings,
and the tree recalls the tree of Paradise which Adam lost by sin
and Christ promised to restore.
The first gift, therefore is God's own Son, Jesus.  

"Two turtle doves"
represent the Jewish family's sacrifice in the temple when a son was born.
Our sacrifice today is the Divine Liturgy.

"Three French hens"
symbolizes the gifts of the Magi to the Baby Jesus,
or also the gifts of faith, hope and charity
realized in the Savior's birth.

"Four calling birds"
are the four evangelists, whose words tell the story of Jesus' coming.

"Five golden rings"
suggest the first five books of the Old Testament, the Law,
which Christ came to fulfill.

"Six geese-a-laying"
suggest the six days of the week when people work
to bring forth the fruit of the land.

"Seven swans a-swimming"
suggest the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
or even the seven works of mercy.

"Eight maids a-milking"
represent the eight Beatitudes,
which are a Christian's nourishment.

"Nine ladies dancing"
are the nine ranks of angels or
the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit listed by St. Paul in Galatians 5:22.

"Ten lords a-leaping" 
obviously the Ten Commandments.

"Eleven pipers piping"
are the Apostles, now without Judas,
who went out to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world.

"Twelve drummers drumming"
represent the 12 articles of faith in the Nicene Creed.

And a happy "Twelve Days" to you all.

Text attributed to the bulletin of Saint Brigid of Kildare Roman Catholic Church in Midland, Michigan who credits the Church of St. Denis in Lexington, Michigan.

Here is a photo of the entire Christmas tree skirt.

This forum reveals random thoughts and reflections on topics of interest and events impacting the life of the founder of Doll in the Looking Glass.  Our boutique specializes in custom designed dolls that look like your child. We also design toddler and baby dolls that look real using vinyl doll components manufactured in Midland, Michigan USA by Apple Valley Doll Works.  The goal of Doll in the Looking Glass is to delight our customers with our creations.

Sharing Holiday Spirit at:
Bunny Jean's Bunny Hop Party
2805 Potpourri Friday


xinex said...

This tree skirt is beautiful! And you made it? Wow!. I will give my grandbaby an extra hug for you. Thanks!...Christine

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Wow--thats really beautiful!

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