The 12 Days of Christmas. In the 16th century, England prohibited any Christian teaching other than that of the official state religion teachings. Therefore, people developed creative ways to teach their children some of these "other" aspects of Christianity. My true love refers to the Lord, our only love Who is always true.
On the (first...) day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
(1st) ...a partridge in a pear tree.
A partridge is a bird which will die to defend their young. The pear tree represents the Cross. John 10:14‑15.
(2nd)... two turtle doves.
Two doves remind us of Joseph and Mary, who offered these in the temple when Jesus was 40 days old. Luke 2:22, 24.
(3rd)... three French hens.
In the 16th century, French hens were so expensive that only kings could afford them ‑‑ representing the gold, frankincense, and myrrh offered to Jesus at his birth. Matthew 2:10‑11.
(4th) ... four calling birds.
Four calling birds represent the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, calling out the salvation message. John 20:30‑31.
(5th)... five golden rings.
Five golden rings represent the first 5 books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers, Deuteronomy) ‑‑ these were to the Jews more valuable than gold. Deut. 34:10, 12.
(6th)... six geese a‑laying.
Six geese remind us of the 6 days of creation; eggs symbolize new life. Genesis 1:1, 31.
(7th)... seven swans a‑swimming.
Seven swans represent the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit in which we are immersed as Christians, changing us from "ugly ducklings" into grace‑filled children of God. Romans 12:6‑8.
(8th)... eight maids a‑milking. Eight maids represent the 8 unique teachings of Jesus called the Beatitudes, nurturing us in our Christian growth. Matthew 5:3‑12.
(9th)... nine ladies dancing. Nine ladies remind us of the 9 fruits of the Spirit. Such fruit will cause us to dance with joy. Galatians 5:22‑23.
(10th)... ten lords a‑leaping. Ten lords represent the 10 Commandments. Exodus 20:3‑17.
(11th)... eleven pipers piping. Eleven pipers represent the 11 disciples who remained faithful to Jesus ‑‑ they piped the Gospel for all to hear. Mark 3:16‑19.
(12th)...twelve drummers drumming. Twelve drummers represent the 12 vital truths as proclaimed in the Apostles' Creed (1‑Creator, 2‑Jesus is God's Son, 3‑virgin birth, 4‑suffered under Pontius Pilate & crucified, 5‑descended & rose, 6‑right hand of the Father & will judge living and dead, 7‑Holy Spirit, 8‑Christian church, 9‑Communion of Saints, 10‑forgiveness of sins, 11‑resurrection of the body, 12‑life everlasting!)