Today is December 13th. There are 12 more days 'til Christmas. This is a time when my boys and I get a kick out of singing this song. I'm not sure what the real meaning of this song truly is (if there are literally 12 days to celebrate Christmas like there are 8 days to celebrate Hanukkah, for example). I think I remember something about January 5th is considered the 12th day of Christmas but still don't know details because I've not looked it up just yet, but with my boys I treat this kind of like telling time...a quarter "of" 6 means it's 15 minutes before 6 o'clock~~like a "countdown" to Christmas. Either way, it's a fun time in MY family.
I received in an email one time some early Christian coded meanings of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and whether it's true or not, I'm not too concerned, I think it's pretty neat and can easily see the application. :) Evidently, I'm not the only one. An article about this was written by Dennis Bratcher. I'll summarize below. I hope you'll read his article, tho. I found it was a good read. :)
A Partridge in a Pear Tree symbolized Jesus.
Two Turtle Doves symbolized the Old and New Testaments.
Three French Hens symbolized the Three virtues: Faith, hope and love.
Four Calling Birds symbolized the Four Gospels
Five Gold Rings symbolized the first Five Books of the Bible/The Books of Moses/The Pentateuch.
Six Geese A-laying symbolized the Six Days of Creation (God rested on the seventh).
Seven Swans A-Swimming symbolized The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Eight Maids A-milking symbolized The Beattitudes.
Nine Ladies Dancing symbolized The Fruit of the Spirit.
Ten Lords A-leaping symbolized The Ten Commandments.
Eleven Pipers Piping symbolized the Eleven FAITHFUL Disciples/Apostles of Jesus.
Twelve Drummers Drumming symbolized the twelve doctrinal points of the Apostles' Creed.
I hope you find this as fascinating as I did. It's definitely a great tool to share with young Christians today. :)
In the meantime, MERRY CHRISTMAS!