The first day of Christmas is, of course, Christmas Day. Don’t let all the stores and advertisements tell you different! And it lasts until the 12th day of Christmas, which is the eve of Epiphany.
This year, I decided to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas in a couple different ways. First, I’m going to be “giving” them as a present to my priest/best friend by doing different things for him in the style of the song. You can read more about that on my other blog. Second, I’m celebrating them more traditionally according to a book that I have, “Holiday Inspirations” by Better Homes and Gardens.
The book states that “The 12 Days of Christmas” is an English counting song reputed to have been established in the 1500s as a coded catechism for teaching the Catholic faith. They tell you how to make cute, themed gift boxes for each of the days, but I have neither the time nor the resources to make these. Plus, who would I pick to give them to? But, thankfully, there’s also different activities which can be done to symbolize each day.
The first day of Christmas is “A Partridge in a Pear Tree,” and they suggest celebrating with a themed meal. While partridge is rather difficult to find, my family and I had turkey for our Christmas dinner, and I think that totally counts. We are also supposed to have pears and cheese, along with other fruits and wine/sparkling juice or tea. However, the one pear I had in my fridge was all mushy and there were no grocery stores open on the way to my parents’, so it was basically just the turkey.
Technically, the song has us giving the partridge in a pear tree <em>every day, so I’m sure I can have my pears and apples some other time during this Christmas season and have it “count.” 🙂
The book explains that, “The pear tree is said to symbolize the cross; the partridge, Jesus Christ, because a mother partridge risks her own life to save her chicks by luring predators away from the nest.”