Today’s song inspiration for the season is a popular one, one that’s had different versions created, but the original has lasted. It’s the 12 Days of Christmas, and it’s a song about the 12 gifts that a gentleman gave to his true love. The 12 gifts were:
1 partridge in a pear tree
2 turtle doves
3 French hens
4 calling birds
5 gold rings
6 geese a-laying
7 swans a-swimming
8 maids a-milking
9 ladies dancing
10 lords a-leaping
11 pipers piping
12 drummers drumming
This song can teach us many things. It’s one I can hear again and again because it’s so different from what we hear in all songs written today, and everyone sings it a little differently, even if the words are the same. I also am amazed by it because I don’t know who came up with the idea that these were the best gifts to give, even for the years of the late 1700’s when it was originally written.
This song also can say a lot about the holiday season we’re in. Yes, it’s a Christmas song, “Christmas” is in the first line of the song. But Christmas is just one day according to the calendar (even if different countries celebrate it on different days). The idea of giving gifts over 12 days is a reminder that we don’t have to cram all of our celebrating into one day, and that it’s OK to celebrate for many days this month. I also see a connection between it and Hanukkah, because it’s celebrated over 8 days each year, making this song a reminder that those who celebrate Christmas aren’t alone in celebrating this time of year, unlike during other holidays.
The song also says a lot about relationships. I love the idea that this person was so in love with their true love that they wanted to give 12 expensive gifts. These gifts may have cost over $10,000 in the late 1700’s, and today they cost over $30,000. Most of us don’t spend that much on our significant others, but everyone enjoys getting more than one gift (even if that one gift is very special), so the idea of 12 gifts is certainly a simple ballpark to plan around.
Finally, in line with relationships, the song is a reminder that this season we’re in and we finish each year with is all about love. It’s an opportunity to show love through gathering together, giving gifts, decorating together, making memories together and also donating of our time and resources to those who are less fortunate.
What would your 12 gifts that you would give to your true love be?