Twelve Days of Christmas: Missive or Marketing?

The power of our deconstructivist society is amazing! The meaning of words, concepts, and images seem to change on a daily basis. What were once important historical missives or cultural images are often re-defined and turned into marketing gimmicks. The following Politically Correct (PC) version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” proves the point.  Enjoy . . . I guess?

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my Significant Other, in a consenting adult monogamous relationship, gave to me:

  • TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,
  • ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note),
  • TEN melanin deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,
  • NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,
  • EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,
  • SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands,
  • SIX enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human animal products,
  • FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic incarceration, (NOTE: after members of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further Animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift package has been revised.)
  • FOUR hours of recorded whale songs,
  • THREE deconstructionist poets,
  • TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses and . . .
  • ONE Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.


Frankly Speaking

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” was originally written in England as a “catechism song” to help young Catholics memorize the primary tenets of their faith. The ditty’s gifts are not random items of commercial extravagance but indicate hidden theological teachings. The “true love” mentioned in the song does not describe an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The “me” who receives the presents refers to baptized Christians. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is also presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings. The other gifts represent the following:

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues

4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.

6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation

7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments

8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes

9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

10 Lords A-leaping = the Ten Commandments

11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful Apostles

12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed

Astute educational leaders develop the discipline of periodically re-examining the potency of their branding.  They are keenly aware of how their company’s core values and message is interpreted by their clients and customers.  In a future E-reflection, we will discuss the potential of using social media technologies to “listen” for just such dangerous reconstitutions.  The goal is to protect the core missive of a company’s branding from being abridged into erratic marketing.

By the way, in the unlikely event that your Christmas list included the 364 items mentioned in the original “Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would have paid $96,824.  According to the annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management, the 2011 price tag indicates an increase of 10.8 percent over last year.




Dr. Frank Marangos is CEO and Founder of OINOS Educational Consulting. He received a Doctors Degree in Adult Education (Ed.D.) from NOVA Southeastern University (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and a Doctorate in Ministry and Childhood Education (D.Min.) from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX). He is also a Certified Charitable Estate Planner (FCEP).

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