On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me…. Three French Hens
The french hens might be a nod to the French origins of the 12 days of Christmas song although is also thought that the original lyrics were ‘three fat hens’ representing the gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh that were given by the wise men to baby Jesus. My son is a King in his school play this year as we were having a conversation about these gifts and they were strange to give to a baby. The gift of gold is for the King of the world, which in itself isn’t odd but to be given by the wise men who were themselves kings was significant. Frankincense is the gift representing Deity and at the time was considered as more precious than Gold. Often used in the Old Testament when performing a sacrificial ritual, it is representing the sacrifice to come that Jesus was born to be. Myrrh is perhaps the strangest gift of all for a baby as it is a ointment that is used when preparing bodies for burial. This is to symbolize that this divine King would suffer and through the death and resurrection be the savior of the world.
The trio of hens can also be seen as the trinity of God, Father, Son and Spirit, or representative of the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love. The bible passage this comes from is 1 Corinthians :
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
The festive season is full of these virtues in the birth of a baby and all that this brings with the promise of a saviour. If everything was stripped away to be left with only these three things is significant enough to base our lives on. The greatest of all is love, the song points to this being found in Jesus who is the Partridge in the Pear Tree.
For an Eco inspired gift, I have used the Faith, love and Hope in a picture frame. This print was by Izzy and Pop that make all kinds of lovely gift ideas. There are many other lovely things for the home using these words like a plaque for the wall that all communicate the meaning behind the words. This can be easily made a DIY gift. Use a painted wood frame or up-cycle an old frame for this Eco gift.