Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when parents teach the purposes behind the traditions. Some traditions are followed knowingly, and other traditions are blindly followed. Christmas hymns and carols are some of the traditions that may be followed blindly.
I have sung the Christmas carol titled “Partridge in a Pear Tree” many times, and sometimes I have wondered about the wording of the song. I recently came across an explanation that makes the song more meaningful for me. I do not know the author or if it is true, but I find it fascinating. It could well be the original meaning of the song.
Did you know this? The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.
Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stand for faith, hope, and love.
Four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
Six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit – Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
Eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.
Ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
Eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.
Twelve drummers drumming symbolizes the twelve points of belief in the Apostles Creed.
So, there is your history for today. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Yes, I said MERRY CHRISTmas because Christmas is not without CHRIST!
As you repeat your family traditions and sing your favorite Christmas carols and hymns this year, I suggest that you look for the meaning behind each of them. Once we know the meaning, we can then determine if they bring strength or not. I know that we can strengthen our families, communities, and nation by following righteous and wholesome traditions.