Some of you may have already heard me give this next fact if you were attending our church and saw me preach a Children’s Sermon earlier this month. So, I apologize for the repeat, but it’s worth repeating. In the twelve days of Christmas, if you were to count up all the gifts, you would have 365 gifts (Day 1 -1 Partridge. Day 2- 2 Turtle Doves and 1 Partridge =3 gifts. Day 3- 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves, 1 Partridge = 6 gifts, and so on until they all add up to 365 gifts for the duration of the 12 days). 365! Crazy, right?
When you think about the Twelve Days of Christmas song you might be more likely to think how odd the gifts are before you think about how many gifts there are in the whole song. I mean, who gives 9 ladies dancing or 7 swans a’ swimming as a gift? They’re pretty out there gifts. If you were to look up the song’s history, most of the song is a mystery. Its items of presents are about as mysterious as they seem. However, seemingly, the words came from a children’s rhyme and memory game, having less to do with the presents themselves and more about memorization.
Why would I bring this up? This song really isn’t religious at all and we have only twisted the lyrics (using all the repetitions) to offer up a number that could be significant. I mean, really, we all know that there are only twelve gifts that are just sung about repetitiously that makes it seem like there are 365 gifts. However, I was told this little secret about the song when I was working a Cookie Bazaar recently and it changed my view of both the song and the way I think about gifts. This once strange and bizarre song is now more endearing to me. In addition, the 365 days worth of gifts made me think differently, too.
Each day from God is a gift. We are the envy of the angels and all creatures. The very breath of God was sent into each human as we breathed our very first. We are God-Breathed creatures and as such are given life that can only be experienced as a living creature of God.
Each day we live, as a gift from God, we have much to be thankful for. But, much like a gift at Christmas time, many of us enjoy receiving gifts but find even more joy in the giving of gifts. So, when we think of the joy that comes from living each day and knowing our creator God, how much better could it be to share this gift with the rest of the world? Now, we can’t offer salvation to anyone, as we are not God. However, we can show them the love of God. That’s a good gift I think.
What kind of gifts are you giving this season of Christmas? Are you giving the love of God to those around you? Have you showed those that you love –that you love them? And have you said it lately? These small gifts are sometimes the ones that add up throughout a whole year that make the Twelve Days even better as we celebrate Christmas Morning through Epiphany (Jan 4th). During this season particularly, we celebrate the joyous and wondrous love of God that came as a gift through a child in a manger, God’s only begotten Son.