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The Twelve Days Of Christmas

Let's take a look at the true meaning of the 12 Days Of Christmas and try to relate it to modern times and people of all faiths and beliefs.
Listen to the melody and read the lyrics.

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Traditional - The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ. In the song, Christ is symbolically represented as a mother partridge that pretends she is injured to keep predators from her helpless nestlings. This represents Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem.
Modern - Any person who watches over your happiness and safety. It could be a parent, relative, teacher or friend. There are people who love you so much that they would put themselves at risk to make things better for you.

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Two Turtle Doves
Traditional - The Old and New Testaments. These testaments are written by people of the times who tell the history of God.
Modern - The written history of people taking care of others and working together. Anthropologists make this their life work.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Three French Hens
Traditional - The Three Virtues: Faith, Hope and Love.
Modern - Same. It could also be Faith, Hope and Charity.

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Four Calling Birds
Traditional - The Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These gospels are about God's reconciliation.
Modern - Remembering people who have tried to change hatred to acceptance and love.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Five Gold Rings
Traditional - The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These books give the history of humanity's failure in the form of sins. And tells of God's response by creating people to be a light to the world.
Modern - People who respond to negative influences and situations in positive ways. Turning the bad to good.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Six Geese A-laying
Traditional - The six days that God took to create the world. He rested on the seventh day.
Modern - The six working days of the week. Hard work ,sacrifice and energy are given to create stability and strength.

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Seven Swans A-swimming
Traditional - The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and compassion.
Modern - Same. Think of these gifts as coming from the human spirit.

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Eight Maids A-milking
Traditional - The eight Beatitudes: Blessed are 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.
Modern - Same. Value and respect these people.

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Nine Ladies Dancing
Traditional - The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Modern - Same. Think of these as coming from the human spirit.

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Ten Lords A-leaping
Traditional - The ten commandments: You shall have no other gods before me; Do not make an idol; Do not take God's name in vain; Remember the Sabbath Day; Honor your father and mother; Do not murder; Do not commit adultery; Do not steal; Do not bear false witness; Do not covet.
Modern - Do not make people into Gods. Do not idolize another person. Do not swear or hurt another person's feeling on purpose. Remember to rest and reflect. Respect your family. Do not murder. Do not cheat on your girl/boyfriend of spouse. Do not steal. Do not lie about what you see or believe. Don't wish for everything that another person has (be happy with what you have).

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Eleven Pipers Piping
Traditional - The eleven Faithful Apostles: Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James bar Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas bar James. The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the Romans.
Modern - People who are faithful to you in life. It could be your parents, care givers, siblings, relatives, teachers, friends, etc.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Twelve Drummers Drumming
Traditional - The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 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.
Modern - I believe in the common decency of people. I believe that people can create a Heaven on Earth. I believe in family. The family is born of love and together is powerful. We suffer in life and death. We have the power to conquer life's suffering. We will be lifted to a higher level of self. Our generosity of self will make us and others happy. We will face many judges in our lives and become stronger for it. I believe in people, community, leaders, forgiveness, being reborn and life.

You do not have to be of the Catholic faith to find the meaning of this message. If you believe in God or A God, then the traditional message will have true meaning for you. If you do not believe in God or A God, then the modern message will have true meaning for you.

What is the message? Respect yourself and other people in your mind and actions. Remember those who have died for your protection freedom and hope. Learn from generous souls around you and try to teach others the same by setting a good example (not preaching).

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