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Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Twelve Days of Christmas

What are the Twelve Days of Christmas? Many people believe that the Twelve Days of Christmas is nothing more than a song about the days leading up to Christmas Day.  But in truth, the real timing of The Twelve Days of Christmas takes place after Christmas. The Twelve Days of Christmas begin on Christmas day December 25th , and end on eve of The Epiphany, or Three Kings Day (or Day of the Magi) on January 5th. In many cultures Three Kings Day (January 6th) is celebrated much like Christmas Day.  

The tablescape this week celebrates the twelve days of Christmas.  I have listed a little history regarding the meaning at the end of the blog.   

Better Homes & Gardens introduced the 12 Days of Christmas collection this season.   I ordered the 12 piece set from Walmart.   

I am happy the collection offers soup bowls.  Each Christmas Eve I make homemade salmon chowder so these bowls will be perfect. 

The Walmart website shows the dishes out of stock.  I was able to find them on ebay.   I believe the 12 piece collection at Walmart sold for $34 and change.  The set includes 4 dinner plates, four salad plates and four soup bowls. 

The dinner and salad plates. 

The salad plates.   They are white china, but the photos came out more offwhite. 

The stack starts with gold leaf embossed clay charger plates, the dinner plate, salad then soup bowl.   I used a chintz plaid table cloth that I've had for several years.  

I found the artwork for the place cards on Pinterest. I used a PDF program to add our names over the 12 Days of Christmas print. 

It enjoyed gathering the accessory items for this table, but I had a difficult time finding a partridge locally.   I search high and low in every home goods store and speciality Christmas shops.   No partridges were found in South Florida. I finally ordered one on Amazon.  

The "pear tree" is actually a metal twig votive tree that I have used for years on my table.   I found the faux pears at Michael's and hot glued them to the tree.   I could not find pear leaves in store or online.  The closest leaf I could find were live ones off the ficus bush hedgerow across the street from my house.   I love this china and I know I will use it again next year so hopefully I can locate faux pear leaves and blooms between now and next Christmas. 

I had a few other items on the 12 Days of Christmas list.   The little hen on the top left is from Walmart last year. I painted some plastic rings gold to use as the 5 golden rings.  The two white swans swimming came from Joanne's this year.  The Canadian goose wood decoy is part of my Duck's Unlimited decoy collection.   The poor thing suffered a broken neck years ago in a move.  Thank goodness for a little wood glue and he's as good as new.  I will be searching for more items to add to the 12 Day collection. 

I used two illuminated faceted gem hurricanes by Valerie on each side of the pear tree.  I placed them on top of  7 3/4" round mirrors with faceted glass accents by Valerie. I added a icy blue/pearl holiday berry candle rings by Valerie to each hurricane.   The round mirrors and berry candle rings are currently in stock at QVC. 

 I used fresh pears with fresh greenery and cranberries on a china bread plate at each place setting. 

I used Christmas green and royal blue napkins.  I wanted to pull out the brilliant blue stripe in the tablecloth. 

The napkin rings were found at HomeGoods this season.  I added the gold thread to simulate a drum.  (12 drummers drumming) 

I used cobalt blue bubble glass goblets. 

I used 3 gold illuminated shatterproof finials by Valerie on the server.  I also used her set of 5 illuminated glitter wax trees.  These two items are currently in stock at QVC.   The gold leaf magnolia leaf garland and clip on taper candles are from the Lisa Robertson collection.

Close up view of the table cloth. 

I added the gold trim to the beaded napkin rings to simulate the look of a drum.  I will remove it after the holidays and use the napkins on other tables during the year.  

Below is  the history of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'

The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is an English Christmas carol. 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 the Church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember. To fit the number scheme, when you reach number 9, representing the Fruits of the Holy Ghost, the originator combined 6 to make 3, taking the 6 fruits that were similar: the fruit in each parenthesis is the that was not named separately. There are actually Twelve Fruits of the Holy Ghost.
The "True Love" one hears in the song is not a smitten boy or girlfriend but Jesus Christ, because truly Love was born on Christmas Day. 
The partridge in the pear tree also represents Him because that bird is willing to sacrifice its life if necessary to protect its young by feigning injury to draw away predators. According to Ann Ball in her book, HANDBOOK OF CATHOLIC SACRAMENTALS:
The two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments
The three French hens stood for faith, hope, and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The five golden rings rerepresented the first five books of the Old Testament, which describe man's fall into sin and the great love of God in sending a Savior.
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-----Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience [Forbearance], Goodness [Kindness], Mildness, Fidelity, Modesty, Continency [Chastity].
The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Apostles.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The Apostles' Creed.

Original Source: Fr. Calvin Goodwin, FSSP, Nebraska

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  


This post is linked to the following parties:
482nd Tablescape Thursday - Between Naps on the Porch
Make it Pretty Monday – Week 236 - The Dedicated House
Celebrate Your Story! #108 -Celebrate & Decorate with Chloe Crabtree
THE SCOOP #306 - Stone Gable
403rd Inspire Me Tuesday - A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesdays #367 - Savvy Southern Style
Thursday's Favorite Things - Katherines Corner
VINTAGE CHARM PARTY #113 - Our Hopeful Home
Dishing It & Digging It Link Party #180 - Life and Linda
Saturday Sparks Link Party 251 - Pieced Pastimes
The Pretty Pintastic Party #188 - Coffee with us 3
Home Sweet Home #350 - The Charm of Home
Grace at Home No. 279 - Imparting Grace
Share Your Style Link Party #149 - 21 Rosemary Lane
Foodie Friday and Everything Else - Rattlebridge Farm
"Anything Goes" Pink Saturday - How Sweet the Sound
Inspire Me Monday – Week 312 - Create with Joy
Amaze Me Monday #246 - Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home


  1. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home! Merry Christmas.

    1. Thank you for stopping by for a visit! Merry Christmas!

  2. You are so clever!I saw those plates, etc. at my Wal-Mart and was really tempted to buy the cake server and the platter! Thanks for the history, and thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

    1. Thank you Kathleen. Our stores here in South Florida did not carry the set. I should have ordered the cake server and platter when I ordered the set online. Hopefully they will offer it again. Happy New Year!