On the Seventh Day of Christmas

Stencil.default (2)Nicola here. It’s New Year’s Eve here in the UK, with fireworks, celebrations and all the traditions that go with the ending of one year and the start of the new. One of my favourite new year'e eve traditions was celebrated by my grandmother for many years – She would open the windows at the front and back of the house to invite good luck in and the front and let bad luck out at the back! However this might just have had the practical intention of airing the house after all the smells of Christmas cooking!

It may be the end of December, but in an older tradition it’s only the seventh day of the “twelvetide,” the 12 days of Christmas that started on 25th December and end with Twelfth Night on 5th January. In the medieval calendar there was still a lot of festive celebration to go!

In the carol, on the 7th day of Christmas my true love sent to me seven swans a swimming. In the old 7 swansCeltic tradition the seven swans were linked to the seven known planets, elegance and mystery personified. In the 17th century, when the carol originated, swans were seen as good omens, tasty to eat and a source of warmth from the feathers and down. The Christian interpretation of the song was that the seven swans symbolise the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Stencil.default (3)There’s a rather nice idea here the binds the 12 days of Christmas to the idea of New Year’s resolutions. We all have different gifts and qualities. For example, some are good teachers, others can encourage and motivate people and some people are creative. In the New Year, whether or not we make specific resolutions, we can all plan to use and enjoy our own unique gifts.

A very happy New Year’s Eve! Do you have any special traditions you enjoy at this time of year or resolutions you are intent on making?

40 thoughts on “On the Seventh Day of Christmas”

  1. When I was young, at midnight my Dad had us all gather at the front door with a drink in hand, waiting for the bells from the church to ring. We were about a mile away but you could hear them crystal clear in the countryside. He’s long gone but I remember him every New Year’s Eve at that time. A very Happy New Year to you and yours Nicola. Indeed to all the Wenches who have given me such great pleasure over the year with their wonderful posts.

    Reply
  2. When I was young, at midnight my Dad had us all gather at the front door with a drink in hand, waiting for the bells from the church to ring. We were about a mile away but you could hear them crystal clear in the countryside. He’s long gone but I remember him every New Year’s Eve at that time. A very Happy New Year to you and yours Nicola. Indeed to all the Wenches who have given me such great pleasure over the year with their wonderful posts.

    Reply
  3. When I was young, at midnight my Dad had us all gather at the front door with a drink in hand, waiting for the bells from the church to ring. We were about a mile away but you could hear them crystal clear in the countryside. He’s long gone but I remember him every New Year’s Eve at that time. A very Happy New Year to you and yours Nicola. Indeed to all the Wenches who have given me such great pleasure over the year with their wonderful posts.

    Reply
  4. When I was young, at midnight my Dad had us all gather at the front door with a drink in hand, waiting for the bells from the church to ring. We were about a mile away but you could hear them crystal clear in the countryside. He’s long gone but I remember him every New Year’s Eve at that time. A very Happy New Year to you and yours Nicola. Indeed to all the Wenches who have given me such great pleasure over the year with their wonderful posts.

    Reply
  5. When I was young, at midnight my Dad had us all gather at the front door with a drink in hand, waiting for the bells from the church to ring. We were about a mile away but you could hear them crystal clear in the countryside. He’s long gone but I remember him every New Year’s Eve at that time. A very Happy New Year to you and yours Nicola. Indeed to all the Wenches who have given me such great pleasure over the year with their wonderful posts.

    Reply
  6. We watch the ball drop in New York and then go to bed in the mid-west (we’re getting old).
    I never knew about the swans/planets connection and neither had my husband known until I passed the information on.
    As to resolutions — I make them (and remake them) frequently as often as I need to . Improvement shouldn’t be limited to a single day. (Although I do understand the symbolism of a hew start at the start of the yesr)>

    Reply
  7. We watch the ball drop in New York and then go to bed in the mid-west (we’re getting old).
    I never knew about the swans/planets connection and neither had my husband known until I passed the information on.
    As to resolutions — I make them (and remake them) frequently as often as I need to . Improvement shouldn’t be limited to a single day. (Although I do understand the symbolism of a hew start at the start of the yesr)>

    Reply
  8. We watch the ball drop in New York and then go to bed in the mid-west (we’re getting old).
    I never knew about the swans/planets connection and neither had my husband known until I passed the information on.
    As to resolutions — I make them (and remake them) frequently as often as I need to . Improvement shouldn’t be limited to a single day. (Although I do understand the symbolism of a hew start at the start of the yesr)>

    Reply
  9. We watch the ball drop in New York and then go to bed in the mid-west (we’re getting old).
    I never knew about the swans/planets connection and neither had my husband known until I passed the information on.
    As to resolutions — I make them (and remake them) frequently as often as I need to . Improvement shouldn’t be limited to a single day. (Although I do understand the symbolism of a hew start at the start of the yesr)>

    Reply
  10. We watch the ball drop in New York and then go to bed in the mid-west (we’re getting old).
    I never knew about the swans/planets connection and neither had my husband known until I passed the information on.
    As to resolutions — I make them (and remake them) frequently as often as I need to . Improvement shouldn’t be limited to a single day. (Although I do understand the symbolism of a hew start at the start of the yesr)>

    Reply
  11. I no longer make resolutions other than one – I promise to try to be a better person in the coming year.
    And I would love to hear bells rather than the fireworks which seem to go on and on and scare my poor dog to death.

    Reply
  12. I no longer make resolutions other than one – I promise to try to be a better person in the coming year.
    And I would love to hear bells rather than the fireworks which seem to go on and on and scare my poor dog to death.

    Reply
  13. I no longer make resolutions other than one – I promise to try to be a better person in the coming year.
    And I would love to hear bells rather than the fireworks which seem to go on and on and scare my poor dog to death.

    Reply
  14. I no longer make resolutions other than one – I promise to try to be a better person in the coming year.
    And I would love to hear bells rather than the fireworks which seem to go on and on and scare my poor dog to death.

    Reply
  15. I no longer make resolutions other than one – I promise to try to be a better person in the coming year.
    And I would love to hear bells rather than the fireworks which seem to go on and on and scare my poor dog to death.

    Reply
  16. I have never been one for resolutions. If I can’t bring myself to make (or commit) to a change, a new year is not going to bring it about. LOL Conversely, I always see it as a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made. 2018 was difficult (I lost my much beloved father) so I was ready for a new slate. When I was young, my father was a minister so our NYE was always spent praying the old year out and the new one in. I was lucky to stay awake that long then, and it’s much worse now. LOL I change all the calendars, have a toast and then tuck in…usually a couple hours before it officially gets here. 🙂

    Reply
  17. I have never been one for resolutions. If I can’t bring myself to make (or commit) to a change, a new year is not going to bring it about. LOL Conversely, I always see it as a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made. 2018 was difficult (I lost my much beloved father) so I was ready for a new slate. When I was young, my father was a minister so our NYE was always spent praying the old year out and the new one in. I was lucky to stay awake that long then, and it’s much worse now. LOL I change all the calendars, have a toast and then tuck in…usually a couple hours before it officially gets here. 🙂

    Reply
  18. I have never been one for resolutions. If I can’t bring myself to make (or commit) to a change, a new year is not going to bring it about. LOL Conversely, I always see it as a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made. 2018 was difficult (I lost my much beloved father) so I was ready for a new slate. When I was young, my father was a minister so our NYE was always spent praying the old year out and the new one in. I was lucky to stay awake that long then, and it’s much worse now. LOL I change all the calendars, have a toast and then tuck in…usually a couple hours before it officially gets here. 🙂

    Reply
  19. I have never been one for resolutions. If I can’t bring myself to make (or commit) to a change, a new year is not going to bring it about. LOL Conversely, I always see it as a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made. 2018 was difficult (I lost my much beloved father) so I was ready for a new slate. When I was young, my father was a minister so our NYE was always spent praying the old year out and the new one in. I was lucky to stay awake that long then, and it’s much worse now. LOL I change all the calendars, have a toast and then tuck in…usually a couple hours before it officially gets here. 🙂

    Reply
  20. I have never been one for resolutions. If I can’t bring myself to make (or commit) to a change, a new year is not going to bring it about. LOL Conversely, I always see it as a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made. 2018 was difficult (I lost my much beloved father) so I was ready for a new slate. When I was young, my father was a minister so our NYE was always spent praying the old year out and the new one in. I was lucky to stay awake that long then, and it’s much worse now. LOL I change all the calendars, have a toast and then tuck in…usually a couple hours before it officially gets here. 🙂

    Reply
  21. I’ve got to admit I turned in early as well last night, Stephanie! I think the turn of the year is a good marker point for those who want it to be but we can make a change whenever we choose. I love the way you express “a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made.” Here’s to a good year!

    Reply
  22. I’ve got to admit I turned in early as well last night, Stephanie! I think the turn of the year is a good marker point for those who want it to be but we can make a change whenever we choose. I love the way you express “a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made.” Here’s to a good year!

    Reply
  23. I’ve got to admit I turned in early as well last night, Stephanie! I think the turn of the year is a good marker point for those who want it to be but we can make a change whenever we choose. I love the way you express “a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made.” Here’s to a good year!

    Reply
  24. I’ve got to admit I turned in early as well last night, Stephanie! I think the turn of the year is a good marker point for those who want it to be but we can make a change whenever we choose. I love the way you express “a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made.” Here’s to a good year!

    Reply
  25. I’ve got to admit I turned in early as well last night, Stephanie! I think the turn of the year is a good marker point for those who want it to be but we can make a change whenever we choose. I love the way you express “a new slate with a whole new list of adventures and memories to be made.” Here’s to a good year!

    Reply

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