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The Twelve Days of Christmas

At one time or another, you've probably heard the Christmas carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". The historical carol with a catchy melody simply can't be forgotten at this time of year. Most people assume or believe that the twelve days of Christmas are the days leading up to Christmas Day, but did you know that the "Twelve Days of Christmas" are actually the twelve days following Christmas Day? They are the days that lead up to the Feast of the Epiphany. This means that gift-giving doesn?t have to end on Christmas Day!

The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas", seems to be a very festive and jolly carol, but it actually has a hidden meaning. During 16th century England, when the song was first thought to have been written, Henry VIII replaced the Pope and demanded that all swear allegiance to him; but the Chancellor of the Realm refused to obey and Henry VIII had him publicly beheaded. This led many Catholic Priests to live their lives in secrecy and to preach the word of God in private?

"On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me"

  • 'My True Love' refers to God, and 'me' is any Catholic person.
  • The '12 Lords a Leaping' are the twelve basic beliefs as detailed in the Apostles Creed.
  • The '11 Pipers Piping' are the 11 Apostles who remained faithful after Judas's betrayal.
  • The '10 Ladies Dancing' are the 10 Commandments.
  • The '9 Drummers Drumming' are the 9 choirs of angels.
  • The '8 Maids a Milking' are the Eight Beatitudes.
  • The '7 Swans a Swimming' are the Seven Sacraments.
  • The '6 Geese a Laying' are the six days of creation.
  • The '5 Golden Rings' are the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The '4 Colly Birds' are the Four Gospels.
  • The '3 French hens' are the Holy Trinity.
  • The '2 Turtle Doves' represent the two Testaments; the Old and New.
  • The 'Partridge' is Jesus himself, and the 'Pear Tree' is the Holy Cross.

Mistletoe
Did you know that mistletoe was once considered sacred? In ancient times, it was one of the few plants that thrived through winter, remaining green and bearing fruit. All other plants died during the cold season. Members of the priestly class would cut mistletoe down with golden sickles; the sacred plant was never allowed to touch the ground. The name 'mistletoe', was derived from 'mistletan', an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'little dung twig', owing to the fact that mistletoe plant seeds are spread by bird droppings.

Christmas Trees
Did you know that Christmas trees have been a part of American household traditions since 1850? It takes about 15 years for the average Christmas tree to grow and every year, over 30 million Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone! The destruction of trees was such an issue that President Roosevelt, an eager environmentalist, banned Christmas trees from the White House in 1912.

Santa?s Reindeer
Did you know that Norwegian scientists once theorized that Rudolph the Reindeer's 'red nose' was the symptom of a respiratory infection? Rudolph, along with Santa's other flying reindeer, was thought to be a male reindeer. This idea was based on their names 'Comet', 'Rudolph', 'Cupid' etc. But male reindeer lose their antlers during the winter, which means that Santa's reindeer are actually female, since they all have antlers during Christmas.

Christmas Colors
The traditional colors of Christmas are green, red and gold. Green is a color that has long represented life, earth and rebirth. Red is the color which symbolizes the blood of the biblical figure, Jesus Christ. The color gold represents royalty, wealth and riches.

Celebrate the Holiday with GemSelect and Colored Stones!
Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas this year with red, green and gold colored gemstones? and for those celebrating other holidays this season, we also have a huge selection of precious and semi-precious gemstones in other wonderful colors too!

Happy Holidays,
Your Friends at GemSelect

  • First Published: December-20-2013
  • Last Updated: March-08-2016
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