Twelve Days of Christmas: The Story Behind These Strange Gifts?


‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is a much loved, sung, and acted out carol around this time of year. Who hasn’t listened to the song? There have been many adaptations to the song throughout time and even different takes on what the song’s meaning is. 

One historical theologian, Associate Professor Dr. Bronwen Neil, from the Australian Catholic University, has said that the song may have actually been closely tied with religious teachings. 

She tells a story about one theory that suggests that the song gave Catholics in England a way to teach their kids knowledge of the saints and doctrines when Protestants were cracking down on the Catholics. Neil said each item in the song is a metaphor – or secret code – for a Bible story.

In this theory, the twelve days have really good meaning and reflect the story of Christmas well. Journey with us over the next 12 days to learn about the song’s meaning and follow along with some fun actions to help make Christmas even more meaningful to you. 

To help break it down, this is how it goes…Day 1


Summary of story

Source for the daily messages