“For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
Whereas a lot of the world ends their Christmas celebration after today – the radio stations go back to their normal playlists – we, as Catholics, are beginning the season of Christmas. Just like the season of Advent, we now enter into a season of Christmas.
It’s not time to put away the Christmas music, but to pull it out. (Okay, okay, I’m pretty happy to not be hearing some pretty bad versions of what now “used to be” a favorite Christmas carol on the radio anymore.) One song that is very appropriate for this Christmas season, but admittedly annoying, is the 12 Days of Christmas.
The exact history of the song and its lyrics that build verse by verse are not well documented. Over the years and cultures it has changed a bit. What we do know is that the song can be useful for us Catholics to remember certain aspects of our faith. Over the next 12 days, we’ll be taking a look at each verse and see how it can relate to living out our Catholic faith.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .
A partridge in a pear tree.
Imagine this: It is Christmas morning and you have just been given a tree with a live bird in it. Never having been very interested in birds, I had to do some quick research. Apparently, a partridge is a medium sized member of the pheasant family.
So, what does a bird in a fruit tree have to do with Christmas or our Catholic faith?
First, we need to realize that this gift is from our true love. Who is the only one to love us perfectly? God. Just as your parents wanted to give you gifts this Christmas, God wants to bless us with gifts. Because of His perfect love, God can give us the most perfect gift.
This partridge in the tree can represent the best gift God could give us – Himself. Jesus came to us, taking on our human flesh, so that He could gain for us salvation. The gift of eternal life, the gift of restored relationship with God is the best gift that we could ever be given.
There is only one Savior of the World. There is only one partridge in this tree. And every verse of the song comes back down to this because we need to be reminded that Jesus should be number one in our lives. As you appreciate the Christmas gifts you’ve been given this year, spend some time first reflecting on the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ!