The twelve days of Christmas. I actually always used to like this song when I was little, I’m not sure why. This year, a local business has used the song in one of its’ commercials, changing the words to fit the company. I’ve been hearing it a lot, and it’s really started to irritate me [some question, what doesn’t?]. Maybe because they say something about 5 in-laws and 4 parents, which doesn’t make any sense. How would you have 5 in laws and 4 parents? Oh, that’s right, you couldn’t. Unless I did my math wrong?
Regardless, it always gets stuck in my head, only with the real words. So, while out doing some retail therapy the other day, I began thinking about these so-called twelve days of Christmas, and I have a few problems with them.
First of all, why is it twelve days of Christmas? This doesn’t make sense, twelve is an odd number, not literally, of course, it’s even, but its an odd choice. Why not the ten days? Or the 25 days? Or, even, go big or go home, 31 days of Christmas for the whole month of December?
Second of all, okay, these are gifts from your true love, right? Why the heck are they giving you drummers, pipers (what does that even mean?), lords-a-leaping, ladies dancing, maids, french hens, calling birds…five golden rings? None of these things sound appealing to me, I don’t particularly want ladies for Christmas, and I’m not quite sure what I could possiblly do with a pear tree with a partridge in it. The dang bird would probably fly away, and I don’t even really like pears. And I don’t really think I want 5 golden rings, I’d much rather get 1 really big diamond ring…not that that’s what Christmas is about, but if my true love is celebrating the twelve days of Christmas, then why not get what I want, right?
PS. I checked out the whole twelve days issue, and according to wikipedia [most reliable source, ever]:
The twelve days in the song are the twelve days starting Christmas day, or in some traditions, the day after Christmas (December 26) (Boxing Day or St. Stephen’s Day, as being the feast day of St. Stephen Protomartyr) to the day before Epiphany, or the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6, or the Twelfth Day). Twelfth Night is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking.” Okay, I’ll take it.