Although it’s a foreign idea to most people in our culture, the days leading up to Christmas are actually part of the Advent season, or season of anticipation. The Christmas season, or Christmastide, doesn’t actually begin until Christmas Day, lasting for the next twelve days until the Feast of Epiphany on January 6, and celebrating the Incarnation: “God With Us”!
These are the days referred to in the popular Christmas carol. In fact, according to legend, each of the twelve days has an allegorical meaning pointing to different essential elements of the Christian faith. The legend says that it was used as a teaching tool to teach children the basics of the faith during the sixteenth century when Christmas was banned in England (In fact, it still makes a great teaching tool! If you’re interested in learning more about using it with your children, I’ve got some great suggestions for you here).
I thought it would be fun this year to recognize each of the twelve days of Christmas here on the blog with a short explanation of the symbol and a thought or link.
So, here’s Day One of the REAL Twelve Days of Christmas: A Partridge in a Pear Tree:
As the story goes, “My True Love” in the song refers to God the Father.
“A Partridge in a Pear Tree” refers to Jesus Christ and the cross.
The partridge is known for its fierce protectiveness of its young…being willing to give its life to defend them against any harm.
For many years, our family has used a children’s storybook and an activity book to observe the twelve days of Christmas. So, I was thrilled when a friend of mine contacted me and asked me to take a look at a new devotional she and her husband had put together, meant to help families reflect on the spiritual implications of each verse of the carol.
“But there may be much more to this song than just random gifts, as a long-held tradition (albeit disputed) is that this isn’t just about some guy going nuts over some girl. Rather, it’s a deeply rooted allegory for the true meaning of the holiday – the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose presence and sacrifice on this earth blesses us more than any other gift ever could.” (from the Preface)
I’ve known Heather for years through an online homeschool forum, and after spending time looking through “The Twelve Days of Christmas: A primer and prayer”, I’m impressed! The daily reflections are short, but meaningful. I think this is going to be a perfect addition to our daily observance for both personal reflection and discussion with my older kids!
You can read more about it at their blog, To Sow a Seed, and you can download your own copy for a donation of $4.99 to their nonprofit ministry, The Global Missionary, which will go to continue their work in sharing the Gospel with unreached people groups in Nepal.
I’m honored that Heather and Christopher gave me the opportunity to look at this resource and share it with you! I hope you’ll take a look at it.
I’ll leave you today with two of my very favorite contemporary songs celebrating “God With Us”:
Watch for day two of The REAL Twelve Days of Christmas tomorrow.
Merry Christmas to the entire Home With Purpose community!
I so appreciate each and every one of you and I’m blessed to be able to share with and learn from all of you! Thank you so much for the privilege! 🙂
Does your family recognize all twelve days of Christmas? If so, what do you do? If not, have you ever considered it?
Read the entire series here:
- The Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany: Celebrating “God With Us”
- Day One: A Partridge in a Pear Tree
- Day Two: Two Turtle Doves
- Day Three: Three French Hens
- Day Four: Four Calling Birds
- Day Five: Five Golden Rings
- Day Six: Six Geese A-Laying
- Day Seven: Seven Swans A-Swimming
- Day Eight: Eight Maids A-Milking
- Day Nine: Nine Ladies Dancing
- Day Ten: Ten Lords A-Leaping
- Day Eleven: Eleven Pipers Piping
- Day Twelve: Twelve Drummers Drumming
- Epiphany is Here!