On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Friends, I cannot be more excited my project of stitching these 12 Days of Christmas ornaments is finally #done, #finished, #completed, #nomorehangingovermyhead – after three long years!!! I am not fishing for accolades as I am a little sheepish in admitting to you it took me three years to get these ornaments stitched. After all, as you can see, the stitching does not really require any advanced skills.  But to have these done is an immense relief because now I can go on to finishing some of my other stitching related UFO’s when time allows.

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Incidentally, there is a story associated with the song.  Here goes (thanks to Creative Hare who sent it to me!!)

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

***

Would you join me in “singing” the carol one more time before we pack our Christmas stuff away?  Oh, good… here goes.

On the first day of Christmas
My true love *gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree

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On the second day of Christmas
My true love game to me
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the third day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

IMG_2922

On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree

IMG_2908

On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

IMG_2930

On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

IMG_2933

On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

IMG_2949

On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

IMG_2946

On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Ohhh, awww-e-awww,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

IMG_2927

On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Ten Lords-a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five Limousines,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

IMG_2904

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eleven Pipers Piping,
Ten Lords-a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

IMG_2912

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING!
ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING!
TEN LORDS-A-LEAPING!
NINE LADIES DANCING!
EIGHT MAIDS-A-MILKING!
SEVEN SWANS-A-SWIMMING!
SIX GEESE-A-LAYING!
FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!
FOUR CALLING BIRDS!
THREE FRENCH HENS!
TWO TURTLE DOVES!
AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE!

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You all sounded great – thank you so much for humoring me and “singing along”!  And that concludes our Christmas 2015 at Ivory Spring.  Miss Baby has been dreading the day we put our Christmas things away.  I will be very nice, and do it ever so gradually…. to lessen the pain.
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a most lovely day.  Hugs to you all.
p.s.  *I learned that traditionally, the song was sung with “my true love sent to me” instead of “gave to me”.  The “gave to me” version is more 20th century and American.
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30 thoughts on “On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

  1. wow..that’s nice…it is a new information for me…your ornaments are lovely wendy…i admire you for making this ornaments during your busy quilting journey

  2. So glad you have all your 12 days of Christmas cross stitch ornaments all done. I only have the first 4 done. Maybe finish this year. LOL Enjoy your posts! Esp about Miss Baby.

  3. 5 Limousines? BWHAHAHAHA….thank you so much for my early morning laugh! Seriously, though, your stitching is beautiful, as always, but I really anxious to share the true meaning of the song with my church family. The children always want to sing the 12 Days of Christmas but some of the adults are frowny-faced when it’s chosen. Whether is because of the words or the length of the song I don’t know…but I’m sure once I share your wonderful information those frowny faces will be smiley faces. Thank you…Blessings….Happy New Year…with love and prayers….kathy in WV

  4. Thank you for sharing the information on the meaning behind “The Twelve Days of Christmas” carol. Your ornaments are beautiful and I am now inspired to stitch a set. It’s fun to know that quilting enthusiasts spread their creativity to other crafts as well; a truly creative mind! Happy New Year and blessings in 2016!

  5. Congratulations on getting them done! They look great! I had heard that about the meaning behind the song, not so much in reference to Catholics but Christians in general.

  6. Thank you!! Your cross stitching is lovely!! I’ve never tried it, but I’m not as precise as you so don’t think I’ll try it either:)

  7. It is so good to hear religious teachings in this secular world. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful message. Happy New year to you and your family. The Christmas ornaments are a labor of love.

  8. Wendy, thank you so much for sharing the true meaning of the Twelve Days of Christmas – I never knew that there was a hidden meaning to it! Your ornaments are beautiful and I am sure that you are feeling elated that they are finally finished :) Hugs to you and your family, and hope that this years is the best ever!

  9. Love, Love, Love these ornaments! Congrats on finishing. Love the story behind the 12 Days of Christmas. Would love to make them. Is this your own design? If so are they available for purchase?

  10. Given your work & family commitments it certainly doesn’t seem unreasonable! Hooray for finished & they look lovely. Nothing nicer than handmade ornaments!

  11. Wendy, your ornaments are lovely. Congrats on finishing! Thanks for sharing the meaning of the carol–that was new information to me.

  12. I always look forward to hearing from you and seeing the beautiful photos of your work. The ornaments are so pretty and thank you for sharing the background on that song. Best wishes and blessings in the new year!

  13. Isn’t it a great feeling when you finish a project? They are lovely! Do not feel at all bad that it took time to complete them, sometimes life just happens. Found the meanings for the ornaments that you shared very interesting. Can’t wait to “see” the next project you choose.

    Blessings in the new year!!

  14. I love these. Were these published as a pattern or in a magazine? I would like to do these if you could connect me with the pattern.

    thanks

  15. Congratulations!!! They are fabulous!! Given all the quilts you make/patterns you write for magazines and books, I think it’s a huge accomplishment. What a wonderful, wonderful set of Christmas decorations you now have!

  16. Your post is exactly what I needed today….elegantly dreamy with hints of the aromas of pine, cinnamon & cloves and glowing with the Light of Life! Thank you, Dear Friend. Many many hugs……….

  17. Happy New Year Wendy.
    I am so happy you completed these, They will be a treasure and an heirloom for your great great great grand children. :-D
    I love this song. There are some very funny versions of this song relating to all of the gifts and coping with the menagerie and crowd. I truly love this very meaningful reason for this song.
    I hope you have a wonderful new year creating more beautiful things and enjoying your family.

  18. Oh Wendy….those are awesome and will be such treasures. It is so nice to see them all together and you have inspired me to get going on them again. Happy new year!

  19. From this day forward I will have a different reverence for this song..I always felt it was a bit of nonsense. Catholic that I am I never knew.

  20. I love the 12 Days of Christmas! I’ve been singing it on my walks with my puppy(dog). Never knew it’s true meaning. Our priest has begged all the parishioners to wait until today to take down their decorations. I’ve posted on FB, my page, my TealDragon Page and my guild page, different things I’ve done on each day. Not all spiritual, but posting has reminded me of the gift we have been given. Hope you have a happy and Holy Epiphany!

  21. I am so glad you have finished your ornaments. They are beautiful. As a Catholic, I had not heard that story but it is wonderful and makes me feel very differntly towards the song. I always used to groan when someone began singing it. You have inspired me to begin making something similar for next year (or maybe the year after!!) I hate taking the tree down, the room aklways looks so bare afterwards (not to mention having to follow hubby through the house vacuuming up all the needles!)
    Happy new Year

  22. Wendy! I had no idea of this true meaning to this song! Thank you so much that is amazing. The ornaments are a treasure in itself. I just do not know how you did all thosettiny stitches. My eyes would be put out by now. You did a marvelous job with them. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post. You are an amazing Mom, quilter, cross stitcher,sewer, and I am sure a great wife to your hubby. Have a great day.

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