12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Classic holiday song has special meaning to some

Published 7:49 pm Thursday, December 26, 2019

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The Christmas presents have all been unwrapped and many returned. Ol’ Tom Turkey is now a chick-in-salad and the bills are in the mail. But, take heart, relax and enjoy; the Twelve Days of Christmas have just begun.

And, no family had more fun ushering in the Twelve Days of Christmas than the Lawrence and Sara Bowden family in Brundidge. They began with a family toast to the Twelve Days of Christmas on Christmas Eve.

“We have ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ drinking glasses,” Sara Bowden said. “Each glass has one of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ printed on it and each member of the family selects a glass. Then, as we sing ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas,’ each person will sing the day that is on his glass or her glass.  This year, 15 of us were here on Christmas Eve so some of us had to sing duets. My part was ‘Four Calling Birds’ so I got to sing a lot and I really enjoyed that.”

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Bowden said all members of the family, young and not-as-young, enjoy singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

“It’s a fun song to sing and also those 12 days are meaningful because they mark the time between the birth of Jesus and the coming of the Wise Men on Epiphany on January 6,” she said.

Bowden said the first Day of Christmas, A Partridge in a Tree, represents Jesus, the Son of God. And, as added interest, the partridge is the only bird that will die to protect its young.

The Two Turtledoves represent the Old and New Testaments and the Three French Hens represent faith, hope and love.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, the Four Calling Birds represent the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Five Gold Rings are representative of the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah.

The Six Geese-a-Laying can be traced back to the story of Creation, each egg is a day in creation.

Seven Swans-a-Swimming are reminders for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading and compassion.

Eight Maids-a-Milking represent the lowest of the low who would receive Christ’s word and accept His grace. The eight who are blessed include 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.

The Nine Dancers Dancing are the gifts known as the Fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The Ten Lords a-Leaping represent the Ten Commandments.

The Eleven Pipers Piping are Jesus’ 11 disciples who carried out the gospel message. Judas betrayed Jesus.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas came with 12 Drummers Drumming. The 12 drummers represent the Apostle’s Creed: I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. On the third day, he arose from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father Almighty. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.