On the First Day of Christmas…

Everyone has heard the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’ However, the actual meaning of this phrase is the 12-day period from the 25th of December to the 6th of January. The 25th, of course, is the birth of Christ and the 6th is the date the three wise men brought their gifts to the baby Jesus. Depending on what religion is practiced, people celebrate the 12 days differently. For instance, some people exchange gifts with each other every day of the 12-day period. The verses of the song have symbolism for the gifts that are given each day.

Many people choose to decorate their tree according to the verses of the 12 Days of Christmas. The first day it is decorated with a partridge, the second, two turtledoves, the third, three French hens and so on until the 12th day. Others choose to celebrate the 12 days in other ways.

This can include going caroling, driving around neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights, volunteering at one of the many charity events that are ongoing during the holidays or visiting a nursing home or senior’s home that may not have relatives with which they spend Christmas.

There are many ways that the 12 days of Christmas can be celebrated. Each family can choose a way that will hopefully become a tradition over the years. The main emphasis is on remembering the true meaning of Christmas. The 12 days can be used to teach children and other family members of the importance of recognizing what the holiday is about and practicing it every day – not just during the Christmas season. The spirit of giving, love, hope, good will and peace are gifts that once instilled will last a lifetime.

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