Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The First Day of Christmas? Part III

The First Day of Christmas? Part III of IV

Welcome to Part III of the First Day of Christmas, my stab at a definitive answer to these four perennial questions:

  • What is the first day of Christmas? In other words, on what day did the original singer's first present of a partridge in a pear tree arrive? (Answered in Part I.) 
  • What do we mean by the Christmas Season? I see that phrase interpreted so many ways. Does it have any definitive, commonly understood meaning? (Answered in Part II.) 
  • Thinking about the song and all the gifts on each of those days, how many presents arrive in all? Think about it for a second. Five golden rings on days 5 through 12 amounts to 40 rings!  
  • And speaking of gifts, is there any significance behind the seemingly random gift choices? This will be the subject of Part IV.

  • We tackled the second question in Part II of the series. Missed it? Get caught up HERE.

    And now, 
    tallying up the gifts 
    with Part III:

    If you read the lyric literally, the giver gives his true love lots of presents. On the first day, a partridge in a pear tree. On the second day. two turtle doves AND a partridge in a pear tree. So that is three things on day two and the cumulative total is two turtle doves and TWO partridges in pear trees.

    Now. let's review the shipment of gifts that arrives on the twelfth and final day:

    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

    Read more: HERE

    The total on day 12 is a whopping 12+11+10+9+8+7+6+5+4+3+2+1=78 things! Is that surprising? Did you ever picture all that commotion when you sang the song? And where are all the "gifts" from days one through eleven? This is a strange love, indeed, is it not?

    I mean, if I wanted to demonstrate my true love in the same way, my lady would need a barn for all the cows, swans, geese, birds, hens, doves, and partridges! Not to mention a very large house and food budget for all the drummers, pipers, lords, ladies, and maids.... 

    If you do the math, as I have done, you will discover something else quite remarkable. Have a gander at the table below. 

    The total number of gifts given over twelve days is enough for one gift, be it a calling bird or a maid a-miking, per day for 364 days. Said another way, that's a gift per day from December 26th, the first day of Christmas, to December 24th of the following year--and the only day when there is not a gift is Christmas Day itself, the day God became flesh.

                                          And now you know...

    the rest of the story!