A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Merry CHRISTmas! Most people think that the twelve days of Christmas are the days leading up to Christmas Day, as we see on television and in movies every year. While we certainly look forward to Christmas with anticipation and excitement, the time period before Christmas is actually called “Advent.” In addition to reminding us about the anticipation and excitement leading us to Jesus’ birth, the Advent Season reminds us to look for the second coming of Jesus Christ with the same faith and hope. But let’s set the record straight – the “twelve days of Christmas” actually starts on Christmas Day and ends on January 5th. Epiphany is on January 6th, which is recognized as the first manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, through the Magi that came from the east to worship Him.
The Twelve Days of Christmas is a popular concept represented by a song of the same name that is often played on the radio at this time of year. Most people have probably wondered, ‘What in the world does a partridge in a pear tree have to do with Christmas? Or seven swimming swans?’ Five golden rings might sound pretty good, but this is a pretty extravagant gift, right? While the history of the song is somewhat unclear, many Christians have assigned meaning to each of the gifts to remind them of important features of the Christian faith. The partridge in a pear tree, for example, can stand for Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God, made man in order to suffer and die for all of our sins, and rise again from the dead to break Satan’s hold over us as well as defeat death itself. That’s much more important than a bird in a fruit tree! Stay tuned as we explore the rest of the twelve days of Christmas.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16–17).
”The Twelve Days of Christmas” song image is by Xavier Romero-Frias and used under Creative Commons license BY-SA 3.0.