December 6th

Hi Friends, neighbors and family.

Did you ever wonder where the song the Twelve Days of Christmas came from? Well I did. I never could quite figure out how they got twelve days.  I am going to share that part of our Christmas Tradition with you today.

The Twelve Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning Christmas Day(25 December);  also known as Christmastide and Twelve tide. The Twelfth night of Christmas is always on the evening of 5 January, but the Twelfth Day can either precede or follow the Twelfth Night according to which Christian tradition is followed.

 

  The Twelfth Night is followed by the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January. In some traditions, the first day of Epiphany (6 January) and the twelfth day of Christmas overlap.

The early North American colonists brought their version of the Twelve Days over from England, and adapted them to their new country, adding their own variations over the years.

For example, the Christmas wreath may have originated with these colonials. A homemade wreath would be fashioned from local greenery and fruits.

Making the wreaths was one of the traditions of Christmas Eve.

Wreath’s would remain hung on each home’s front door beginning on Christmas Night (1st night of Christmas) through Twelfth Night or Epiphany morning. All decorations would be taken down by Epiphany morning and the remainder of the edibles would be consumed.

A special cake, the king cake, was also baked then for Epiphany. Similar to our now well-known fruit cake.

With the onset of more Americanized and secular traditions over the past two centuries have been largely forgotten in the U.S. New traditions of Santa Claus and such beliefs have taken over.

This is heightened by the commercial practice to have after Christmas sales beginning on December 6th and running usually until New Year’s Eve.

Contemporary marketing and media tend to espouse the belief that the Twelve Days end on Christmas and thus begin 14 December.

However, a small percentage of Christians of many sects have held on to their own favorite ways to celebrate and those who choose to also have their own churches to guide them in a spiritual way of marking this holiday

Today, some celebrants give gifts on each of the Twelve Days, feast and otherwise celebrate the entire time through Epiphany morning. Lighting a candle for each day has become a modern tradition in the U.S. and of course singing the appropriate verses of the famous song each day is also an important and fun part of the American celebrations.

Some still celebrate Twelfth Night as the biggest night for parties and gift-giving, and some also light a Yule Log on the first night being Christmas letting it burn some each of the twelve nights.

Americans also have their own traditional foods to serve each night.

As in olden days, Twelfth Night to Epiphany morning is the traditional time to take down the Christmas and decorations.

So now with old and new traditions combined we still continue to lean on original traditions and transform the best of both into what we hope will be the most wonderful holiday season.

This year as you celebrate remember the twelve days of Christmas and what they meant to your ancestors. Think about that fruit cake from Auntie May.

Remember Santa Claus, stockings and commercial needs all began in modernized times.

Don’t be afraid to go back to old traditions. Visit a church celebration, walk through Nativity sets, go see a Christmas pageant and be thankful for the traditions you have to share with loved ones.

So our song for today s
The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the first day of Christmas My true love gave to me: A partridge in a pear tree.
On the second day of Christmas My true love gave to me: Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.
On the third day of Christmas My true love gave to me: Three french hens Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.
On the fourth day of Christmas My true love gave to me: Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.
On the fifth day of Christmas My true love gave to me: Five golden rings Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.
On the sixth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Six geese a-laying Five golden rings Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.
On the seventh day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Seven swans a-swimming Six geese a-laying Five golden rings Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.
On the eight-day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Eight maids a-milking Seven swans a-swimming Six geese a-laying Five golden rings Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Nine ladies dancing Eight maids a-milking Seven swans a-swimming Six geese a-laying Five golden rings Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Ten lords a-leaping Nine ladies dancing Eight maids a-milking Seven swans a-swimming Six geese a-laying Five golden rings Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Eleven pipers piping Ten lords a-leaping Nine ladies dancing Eight maids a-milking Seven swans a-swimming Six geese a-laying Five golden rings Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves and A partridge in a pear tree.

On the Twelfth day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Twelve drummers drumming Eleven pipers piping Ten lords a-leaping Nine ladies dancing Eight maids a-milking Seven swans a-swimming Six geese a-laying Five golden rings Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Now as I leave you with this thought for the day. Plan your celebration accordingly see how many of your traditions fit with the original Twelve tide and the new traditions of modernized society.

God bless you all! Merry Christmas and Happy holidays.  🙂

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2 Responses

  1. I remember when I was growing up, we would hike up into the hills to cut down a tree, drag it home and decorate it, all on Christmas Eve day before going to church. We would never take it down until January 6, Mom always said it had to be up for the 12 days of Christmas.

  2. Thank you for sharing Maggie. Being that I was on medication all the time I was growing up I don’t always remember everything. I know mom liked to start the New Year with a clean house. It probably varied a little with her but it was gone by the 6th. I’m sure I had been told many times about the 12 days of Christmas but as the saying goes when you get to be my age you’ve forgotten more than some people learn in a life time. Keep sharing with us I never as many heads to remember as possible.

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