Edna Bowman once wrote a modern parody of the famous Christmas song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It went like this:  On the twelfth day of Christmas,  My littlest love gave to me Twelve dogs a-leaping, Eleven cats a-creeping, Ten fingers gripping, Nine toes a-tripping, Eight drinks a-spilling, Seven glasses filling, Six friends and things, Five telephone rings, Four crayoned walls, Three loud calls, Two Kisses free And one mother up a pear tree.”

According to Robert Webber, a modern worship guru, “Christmas worship is not confined to a single day but extends for twelve days. The origin of these twelve days of festivity lies in the early church. The early Christians of the East celebrated the birth of Christ on January 6 … In the West, Christians began to celebrate Christmas on December 25…Eventually, these two dates became the boundaries of the Christmas season, with the celebration of the birth of Jesus on December 25 representing the beginning of the festival and the celebration of the manifestation of Christ to the world through the visit of the magi on January 6.” Thus we have the 12 days of Christmas.

I’ve suggested, along with many others, that the song was written during a period of persecution of Christians, and it was a song with a message only to those who “got it.” Yet, some of the myth buster websites argue that it was simply a nonsense song written as a joke. And this explanation is not true. But there are others that argue it is true. I prefer to see it my way. Others agree with me. The song has meaning. The suggested meaning, traditionally, has been as follows: My True love is God the Father. I am the receiver, as a believer, of His gifts. They are: The Partridge is Christ crucified in a tree, then, 2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments. 3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity– the Theological Virtues.  Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists. 5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which relays the history of man’s fall from grace. 6 Geese A-laying = the six days of Creation. 7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. 8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes. 9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit. 10 Lords A-leaping = the Ten Commandments. 11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles. 12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed. Whether this is a historical fact or not, it sure gives meaning to a nonsense song that we’ll hear often during the Christmas season. We may as well see some significance in it when we hear it. To me, “My True Love” is the God who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).