12 Days of Christmas Pictures

12 Days of Christmas in Pictures Christmas carol - 12 days of Christmas

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12 Days of Christmas 12 days of Christmas Pictures

On this page, as a change from jokes, we feature the beautiful 12 days of Christmas pictures.  Take a restful scroll through this classic verse or just count with the pictures.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me A Partridge in a  Pear Tree. 

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Two Turtle Doves and a partridge in a pear tree. 
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Three French hens,  two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

12 Days of Christmas Pictures of Days 1-3

Christmas carol Christmas carol - 12 days of Christmas12 days of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Four Calling Birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree. 
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Five Golden Rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Six Geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

12 Days of Christmas Pictures of Days 4-6

Christmas carol - 12 days of Christmas12 days of ChristmasChristmas carol

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 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.
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 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.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 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.

12 Days of Christmas Pictures of Days 7-9

 Christmas carol - 12 days of ChristmasChristmas carolChristmas carol - Dancers

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On the tenth of Christmas, my true love gave to me 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.   
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 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.
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.

12 Days of Christmas Pictures of Days 10-12

drummersChristmas carol - PipersChristmas carol

Based on original pictures of: 12 days of Christmas Pictures

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The Meaning of '12 Days of Christmas'

There is one particular Christmas Carol that has always baffled Will and Guy. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

We would like to thank a site reader, who emailed us, to let us know the real meaning behind this 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 their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

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  1. The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
  2. Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
  3. Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
  4. The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
  5. The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
  6. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  7. Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  8. The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
  9. Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  10. The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
  11. The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  12. The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today.

This knowledge was shared with us and we found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol, so pass it on if you wish.

Merry [Twelve Days of] Christmas Everyone!

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Funny Thank-you Notes

December 25
My dearest darling Peter,
What a wonderful surprise has just greeted me! That sweet partridge, in that lovely little pear-tree; what an enchanting, romantic, poetic present! Bless you, and thank you.
Your deeply loving,
Tracey

December 26
Beloved Peter,
The two turtle-doves arrived this morning, and are cooing away in the pear-tree as I write. I'm so touched and grateful!
With undying love, as always,
Tracey

December 27
My darling Peter,
You do think of the most original presents! Who ever thought of sending anybody three French hens? Do they really come all the way from France? It's a pity we have no chicken coops, but I expect we'll find some. Anyway, thank-you so much; they're lovely.
Your devoted,
Tracey

December 28
Dearest Peter,
What a surprise! Four calling birds arrived this morning. They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly - they make telephoning almost impossible - but I expect they'll calm down when they get used to their new home. Anyway, I'm very grateful, of course I am.
Love from Tracey

December 29
Dearest,
The mailman has just delivered five most beautiful gold rings, one for each finger, and all fitting perfectly! A really lovely present! Lovelier, in a way, than birds, which do take rather a lot of looking after. The four that arrived yesterday are still making a terrible row, and I'm afraid none of us got much sleep last night. Mother says she wants to use the rings to "wring" their necks. Mother has such a sense of humour. This time she's only joking, I think, but I do know what she means. Still, I love the rings.
Bless you,
Tracey

December 30
Dear Peter ,
Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door this morning, it certainly wasn't six socking great geese laying eggs all over the porch. Frankly, I rather hoped that you had stopped sending me birds. We have no room for them, and they've already ruined the croquet lawn. I know you meant well, but let's call a halt, shall we?
Love,
Tracey

December 31
Peter,
I thought I said NO MORE BIRDS. This morning I woke up to find no more than seven swans, all trying to get into our tiny goldfish pond. I'd rather not think what's happened to the goldfish. The whole house seems to be full of birds, to say nothing of what they leave behind them, so please, please, stop!
Your Tracey

January 1
Frankly, I prefer the birds. What am I to do with eight milkmaids? And their cows! Is this some kind of a joke? If so, I'm afraid I don't find it very amusing.
Tracey

January 2
Look here, Peter,
This has gone far enough. You say you're sending me nine ladies dancing. All I can say is, judging from the way they dance, they're certainly not ladies. The village just isn't accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless viragos, with nothing on but their lipstick, cavorting round the green, and it's mother and I who get the blame. If you value our friendship, which I do (less and less), kindly stop this ridiculous behaviour at once!
Tracey

January 3
As I write this letter, 10 disgusting old men are prancing up and down all over what used to be the garden, before the geese and the swans and the cows got at it. And several of them, I have just noticed, are being a nuisance with the milkmaids. Meanwhile the neighbours are trying to have us evicted. I shall never speak to you again.
Tracey

January 4
This is the last straw! You know I detest bagpipes! The place has now become something between a menagerie and a madhouse, and a man from the council has just declared it unfit for habitation. At least Mother has been spared this last outrage; they took her away yesterday afternoon in an ambulance to a home for the bewildered. I hope you're satisfied.

January 5
Sir,

Our client, Miss Tracey Hoile , instructs me to inform you that with the arrival on her premises at 7:30 this morning of the entire percussion section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and several of their friends, she has no course left open to her but to seek an injunction to prevent you importuning her further. I am making arrangements for the return of much assorted livestock.
Yours sincerely
J. Nutter
Solicitor.

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Partridge Memo to:-

All Departments During the Christmas Credit Crunch

Effective immediately: the following economizing measures are being implemented by the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' subsidiary

  1. The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop forecasted, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance
  2. Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated
  3. The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French
  4. The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked
  5. The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order
  6. The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by Human Resources will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one
  7. The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement
  8. As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching
  9. Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps
  10. Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year
  11. Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right to the bottom line

Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.

Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorneys association seeking expansion to include the legal profession ['Thirteen lawyers-a-suing'], a decision is pending.

Deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.

Depression Causes Price Re-evaluation of 12 Days of Christmas12 Days of Christmas

The price of partridges, pear trees and turtle doves has risen massively comment Will and Guy; pushing the cost of every item mentioned in the carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas", above $100,000 for the first time.

Prices holding mostly steady this year, we have discovered include: maids-a-milking, ladies dancing, lords-a-leaping and gold rings.

The 364 items repeated across all the song's verses would cost $101,119, an increase of 4.4 percent over 2010, according to the annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management. The broader government Consumer Price Index increased by 3.9 percent over the same period.

Those with the money to spend would end up with 12 drummers drumming, 22 pipers piping, 30 lords-a-leaping, 36 ladies dancing, 40 maids-a-milking, 42 swans-a-swimming, 42 geese-a-laying, 40 gold rings, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, 22 turtle doves, and 12 partridges in pear trees. Please be aware, says Will that the price does not include bird maintenance. However, Guy reveals: buying just one set of each verse in the song will cost $24,263 this year, a moderate 3.5 percent rise.

Eleven pipers piping will set you back $2,427, but that's a relative bargain compared to seven swans-a-swimming, which cost $6,300. That's a 12.5 percent rise over last year.
Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management, said the core rate of increase is less than half the 9.2 percent jump last year.

'The story in general is wages are still a very sluggish part of this economy,' said Dunigan, who noted that the price of eight maids-a-milking at minimum wage was $58 - the same as in 2009.

Five gold rings even declined a bit, Dunigan said, to $645, from $650 last year.
Last-minute shoppers who turn to the Internet may be in for some surprises. The core list that costs about $24,000 in stores will come to $39,860 online - a whopping 16.1 percent increase over Internet prices last year. Dunigan said the high cost of shipping live birds explains some of the difference.

Six items didn't go up in cost this year: French hens, calling birds, gold rings, maids-a-milking, ladies dancing and lords-a-leaping. Pipers piping and drummers drumming rose 3 percent. The partridge is still the cheapest item, at $15, and swans the most expensive.

12 Pains of Christmas by Bob Rivers

The first thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me
Is finding a Christmas tree

The second thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me:
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The third thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me
Hangovers
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The fourth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me
Sending Christmas cards
Hangovers
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The fifth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me
Five months of bills!
Sending Christmas cards
Hangovers
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The sixth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me:
Facing my in-laws
Five months of bills!
Oh, I hate those Christmas cards!
Hangovers
Rigging up these lights!
And finding a Christmas tree

The seventh thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me:
The Salvation Army
Facing my in-laws
Five months of bills!
Sending Christmas cards
Oh, geez!
I'm tryin' to rig up these lights!
And finding a Christmas tree

The eighth thing at Christmas that such a pain to me:
I WANNA TRANSFORMER FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!
Charities,
And whataya mean "YOUR in-laws"?!?
Five months of bills!
Ach, making out these cards
Honey, get me a beer, huh?
What, we have no extension cords?!?
And finding a Christmas tree

The ninth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me
Finding parking spaces
DADDY, I WANT SOME CANDY!!!!
Donations!
Facing my in-laws Five months of bills!
Writing out those Christmas cards
Hangovers!
Now why the hell are they blinking?!?!?
And finding a Christmas tree

The tenth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me:
"Batteries Not Included"
No parking spaces
BUY ME SOMETHIN'!!!
Get a job, ya bum!
Facing my in-laws!
Five months of bills!
Yo-ho, sending Christmas cards
Oh, geez, look at this!
One light goes out, they ALL go out!!!
And finding a Christmas tree

The eleventh thing of Christmas that's such a pain to me:
Stale TV specials
"Batteries Not Included"
No parking spaces
DAD, I GOTTA GO TA BATHROOM!!
Charities!
She's a witch...I hate her!
Five months of bills!
Oh, I don't even KNOW half these people!
Oh, who's got the toilet paper, huh?
Get a flashlight...I blew a fuse!!
And finding a Christmas tree

The twelfth thing of Christmas that's such a pain to me:
Singing Christmas carols
Stale TV specials
"Batteries Not Included"
No parking?!?
WAAAAAAAAAAH! WAAAAAAAAAAH!
Charities!
Gotta make 'em dinner!
Five months of bills!
I'm not sendin' them this year, that's it!
Shut up, you!
FINE! YOU'RE SO SMART, YOU RIG UP THE LIGHTS!!!
And finding a Christmas tree.

See our collection of Christmas poems for children.

A Christmas Love Song

All I want for Christmas is you
You're the gift that's made my dreams all come true -
All I need for Christmas is here
Finding every sweet surprise
Wrapped up in your eyes
Waiting there for me
Underneath the tree

We'll spend the day
Exchanging kisses
Smile and say 'What a Christmas this is'

Long before the snowflakes appear
Without bells and mistletoe
or the tinsel's silver glow
You just look at me and oh - Christmas is here

Long before the snowflakes appear
Without bells and mistletoe
or the tinsel's silver glow
You just look at me and oh - Christmas is here

Hannah's Ditty

Knock. Knock.
Who's there?
Hannah.
Hannah who?
Hannah partridge in a pear tree!

[Apologies to my daughter, Hannah, says Will]

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
the stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I, in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winters nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.Traditional Christmas Story - The night before Christmas

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wandering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.

Now Dasher!, now, Dancer!, now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet!, on, Cupid!, on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash way! Dash away! Dash away all!

'Twas The Day After Christmas

'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house
Children sat slack-jawed, bored on the couch.

... see more of Twas The Day After Christmas here.


This version of 'Twas the night before Christmas' was written by a peace keeping soldier

Twas the night before Christmas
He lived all alone
In a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone
I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live

I looked all about a strange sight I did see
No tinsel no presents not even a tree
No stocking by the mantle just boots filled with sand
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands
With medals and badges awards of all kinds
A sober thought came through my mind
For this house was different it was dark and dreary
I found the home of a soldier once I could see clearly
The soldier lay sleeping silent alone
Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home
The face was so gentle the room in such disorder
Not how I pictured a lone British soldier
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read
Curled up on a poncho the floor for a bed

I realised the families that I saw this night
Owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight
Soon round the world the children would play
And grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day

They all enjoy freedom each month of the year
Because of the soldiers like the one lying here
I couldn't help wonder how many alone
On a cold Christmas eve in a land far from home

The very though brought a tear to my eye
I dropped to my knees and started to cry
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice
'Santa don't cry this life is my choice
I fight for freedom I don't ask for more
My life is my god, my country. my corps'

The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep
I couldn't control it I continued to weep

I kept watch for hours so silent and still
And we both sat and shivered from the cold nights chill
I didn't want to leave on that cold dark night
This guardian of honour so willing to fight

Then the soldier rolled over with a voice soft and pure
Whispered 'carry on Santa its Christmas day all is secure'
One look at my watch and I knew he was right
'Merry Christmas my friend and to all a good night'

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck.
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves".
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.
And labour conditions at the North Pole
were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their rooftops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."

And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorised use of his nose
And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,

Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.
And as for the gifts, why, he'd never had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim, Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamoured or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls, or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacifistic.

No candy or sweets, they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football, someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, dishevelled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.

A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere, even you.
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth.
May you and your loved ones, enjoy peace on Earth.

See also Hanukkah 

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