The Hidden Meaning

 

The Hidden Meaning cover

A popular religion is deep seeded in the hidden meaning of the holiday song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Did I say a secret meaning? Yes, that is correct! From 1558 to 1829, the Roman Catholics in England could not practice their faith in public because it was a crime. As fate has it, an unknown person, prior to 1780, wrote the popular carol as a catechism song for young children to sing at Christmas. It was encoded to avoid any outsiders from detecting it was written by a Catholic member. As I did some detective work on the ‘hidden meaning,’ I found a few articles which disputed this fact. But Catholic commentaries stand by their story.

Let’s enjoy “The Twelve Days of Christmas” sung by Mitch Miller!

Before I begin breaking down the Catholic’s hidden meaning of this Christmas song, let me pose a question. Just when are the twelve days of Christmas? Is it before Christmas, during Christmas, or after Christmas? What day does it begin? I’ve heard this song since I was a young child but I never thought to ask until now. We will come back to the answer.

Let’s breakdown the song’s hidden meaning….

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“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me”
Who is the true love? It is Jesus Christ! Love for mankind started on His birth.

“A partridge in a pear tree”
The partridge is willing to sacrifice it’s life to protect its own, therefore this represents Jesus.

“On the second day of Christmas my true gave to me – two turtle doves”
The two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

“On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me – three French hens”
A representation of faith, hope, and love

“On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – four calling birds”
The four calling birds are the gospels of the New Testament known as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

“On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – five golden rings”
The five rings are the first five books of the Bible called the Book of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
These passages are important for they describe man’s fall into sin and God’s great love in sending His son to save us.

“On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – six geese-a-laying”
This represents the six days of God’s creation of the earth.

“On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me – seven swans a-swimming”
The sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit to build up the church – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
Romans 12:6–8, 1 Corinthians 12:8–10, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11, and 1 Peter 4:11

“On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – eight maids a-milking”
This is the eight beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-10 which describes Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – nine ladies dancing”
The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23
Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

“On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – ten lords a-leaping”
A representation of the Ten Commandments

“On the eleventh day of Christmas my true gave to me – eleven pipers piping”
This is the eleven faithful Apostles: Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James bar Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas bar James.

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The eleven faithful Apostles

 

“On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – twelve drummers drumming”
The twelve points of belief in the Apostle’s Creed:
Belief in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth
Jesus Christ, God’s only Son
Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary
Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried
He descended into hell. The third day he arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit (Father, Son, and God the Holy Spirit)
I believe in the holy catholic Church, the Communion of Saints
the forgiveness of sins
the resurrection of the body
life everlasting

 

Before I conclude this blog, let me reveal the actual timeframe of the twelve days of Christmas. This joyous season is considered sundown on December 24th (Christmas Eve) to sunset on January 5th (the eve of Epiphany). There are many renditions of this glorious song, but for me, the original carol will forever deepen the meaning of Christmas. Let us celebrate Jesus’s birth!

www.danabicksauthor.com

Please join us again for the next Everything Christmas Blog on Tuesday, December 18th!


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Paying Homage at Christmas

Paying Homage at Christmas cover

I’m not racist or blasphemous, as I’d like to believe we are all men of God. That being said, there’s a piece of history I’ve stumbled upon I want to share with you. As the war broke out over Germany, America felt compelled to help by joining forces with the UK. This is common knowledge but what I’d like to share is a little-known history, not readily available. I won’t rewrite the books on WWII, but I want to give credit where credit is due.

As Hitler ensued his killing mission during the Holocaust, Germany showed little mercy for the Jewish people. A good many Jewish community inhabitants went underground to escape his horror. A lot of them were prominent and educated. Most were musically inclined and so thankful for the Christians who fought for them. So, they composed commemorative songs. They were not just any tunes, but Christmas songs, the melodies we grew up with and know, today, by heart.

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I will uncover the truth. Jewish conductors wrote and composed the best-known Christmas carols! Let’s show them gratitude and give thanks for they hoped to write lyrics Americans would remember every holiday season. The Jewish composers found these carols uplifting and joyful, in contrast to Hanukkah hymns written in minor keys and more solemn. Christmas songs became a national celebration for all faiths.

Image of Johnny Marks

Image of Livingston and Evans

Image of Irving Berlin

Nearly 50% of our favorite lyrics, today, are the proceeds of a rejoicing Jewish people. Here’s a list of just a few of the Christmas carols and their Jewish composers:

“Winter Wonderland”
1934, composed by Felix Bernard and Richard B Smith. Made famous by Bing Cosby

“White Christmas”
1942, composed by Irving Berlin (who also wrote “God Bless America” in 1938)

“Let it Snow”
1945, composed by Jule Styne (Julias Stien) and Sammy Cahnn (Sammy Cohen)

“I’ll Be Home For Christmas”
1943, composed by Walter Kent and Jerry Vale. Made famous by Bing Cosby
Little known fact: American songwriter, Buck Ram copyrighted a song with this same title in 1942, though it’s lyrics were completely different than the Christmas song.

“The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)”
1945, composed Mel Torme and Robert “Bob” Wells
Fun Fact: This song was written in July in the middle of a desert

“The Little Drummer Boy”
1941, composed by Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone

“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”
1939, composed by Johnny Marks

“Rockin’ Round the Christmas Tree”
1958, composed by Johnny Marks

“We Need a Little Christmas”
1966, composed by Jerry Herman

“Silver Bells”
1950, composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans

“A Holly Jolly Christmas”
1964, composed by Johnny Marks

These songs are just a small sample of how the Jews graciously contributed to the Christian’s Christmas holiday. Today, we need to give a special thanks and remember their heritage comes from a more somber background. The Jewish songwriters greatly deserves our love for the Christmas holiday. My prayers this year is to share this homage. We are all men of God, regardless of our religion.

Christ has risen if only in our hearts!

www.danabicksauthor.com

Please be sure to join us again on Tuesday, November 27th for another “Everything Christmas Blog”!


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The Littlest Feet of Christmas

The Littlest Feet of Christmas cover

Enjoy this Christmas tune, The Friendly Beasts, sung by Evan Wickham!

 

Our African Grey parrot will celebrate twenty-seven Christmases with us this year; our Cockatoo, seven years. With a lifespan of 60-75 years, we have many more holidays to sing Christmas songs together. But I’m sure this exotic species did not exist in biblical days, especially at the manger of Jesus. In today’s Everything Christmas Blog, let’s learn some interesting facts about the nativity animals. Though these animals existed when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, scriptures do not support placing them at this holy site.

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DONKEY
An animal portrayed at the nativity is the donkey, named then a Jack Donkey. However, it is doubtful Mary rode 80 miles into Bethlehem on one, being nine months pregnant. Her safety was better in a caravan. But, it carried Jesus through the streets to the hill of Calvary which ultimately led to its shroud of mystery. It is spoken when Jesus sat on his back, a cross appeared in the hairs of this sacred animal. Did you know these cross markings, after 2,000 years, still remain on its back? This is a true, forever sign, that God’s love carries a reward for everything we see – the Messiah.

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CAMELS
Today’s manger scene also highlights camels arriving with the Three Wise Men to adore the Christ Child. However, after close evaluation of Bible verses, this, too, is incorrect. The magi traveled to Nazareth where Joseph and Mary then lived in a house. The Three Kings’ arrival time is unclear, but it was before Jesus’s second birthday and after Christ’s presentation in the Temple:

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

SHEEP
Shepherds raised Fat-tailed sheep, used as sacrificial animals in Bethlehem, in the days of Jesus’s natal. This special species was the first to learn of Jesus’s coming, but were they actually at the stable? It is improbable. When the angels appeared before the shepherds to announce a birth, they were scared and shocked, but instinctively, they knew to find the holy site. Surely, they did not travel with their flocks of sheep to view a baby, especially when they did not know exactly where they were headed. Winter is the breeding season for sheep, and it was vital they remained in the fields. Shepherds sold them to the people of Bethlehem for money in the spring. However, if Mary gave birth in a stable (which is not clarified in the Bible either), there is a likelihood sheep could have been living in part of the stall.

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Animals, though not found in the scripture’s documentation of the birth site, still seem to play a prominent role in our Christmas traditions today. I surmise we will never know the truth of their presence at the nativity until we meet Jesus face-to-face. But until then, let’s fast-forward time to celebrate our own precious animals this Christmas! Feed them special foods, give them hugs, and buy them a gift to make them feel part of your family. After all, they too, are a gift from God!

Be sure to join us on Thursday for the next, Everything Christmas Blog!

 


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