Christmas Traditions that Point to Jesus (12-22-11)

As we Christians we are to be in the world, but not of the world… but not out of it either! Don’t run away from the so-called non Christian aspects of the Christmas season. Most of them can be used to point to Jesus.


The 12 Days of Christmas

This was a secret code used by the Catholics in England from 1558 until 1829 where they were not allowed to legally practice their faith.  So to preserve their teaching and doctrine and teach them to their children, someone wrote this carol as a catechism song.  It has a hidden meaning known only to the member of their church.  Each element has a code word for a religious reality which the children could then remember.

1 – A partridge in a pear tree = Jesus Christ
2 – Two turtle doves = Old and New Testaments
3 – Three french hens = Faith, Hope, and Love
4 – Four Calling Birds = 4 Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
5 – Five golden rings = The Torah, or book of Law – first 5 books of the Old Testament
6 – Six Geese a Laying = 6 days of creation
7 – Seven swans a swimming = 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,
Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy
8 – Eight maids a milking = 8 beatitudes
9 – Nine ladies dancing = 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace Patience, Kindness,
Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control
10 – Ten lords a leaping = The 10 Commandments
11 – Eleven pipers piping = The 11 faithful disciples
12 – Twelve Drummers Drumming = 12 points of belief of the Apostles’ Creed

Do your kids know the song “The 12 Days of Christmas”? Its a fun song to sing as a family – everyone always belts out the “5 Golden Rings” part. Try teaching the meaning to the 12 days too – If your kids knew all 12 days – wow!

Web Links for Extra Training

History and Meaning of Christmas Lights
The History of the Candy Cane
The History and Meaning of Mistletoe
The History and Spirituality of Christmas

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Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich

Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd – Springfield, VA 22152
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