Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember.
a.. The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
b.. Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
c.. Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
d.. The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
e.. The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
f.. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
g.. Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
h.. The eight maids a milking were the eight beatitudes.
i.. Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Ghost: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control.
j.. The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
k.. Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
l.. Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
Today the boys opened a parcel containing this note: (the parcel contained 2 tiny plastic turtles + a wild bird feeder.)
ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you...two turtle doves...but you've no idea how hard it is to catch wild turtle doves!!...will these tiny turtles do? Plus put this wild bird seed feeder up and who knows it may attract some wild turtle doves to land.