Twelve Days of Christmas
Most people know the Christmas season song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and treat it as simply a fun song.
But it may well be a song designed to teach the catechism to children during the 16th century. There is no hard evidence either way.
Those who say that the song was a Christian teaching vehicle believe that the "true love" mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself.
The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith.
Each of the "days" represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn...
A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 1 (Christmas Day). The partridge in a pear tree is supposed to remind one of Jesus, whose birth we celebrate on December 25.
Christ is depicted as a mother partridge, which fakes injury to lure predators from her helpless babies.
Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments
Three French Hens
The Three Theological Virtues (1 Corinthians 13:13), Faith, Hope, and Love
Four Calling Birds
The Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Five Gold Rings
The Pentateuch or Torah (first Five Books of the Old Testament): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation.
Seven Swans A-swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
Eight Maids A-milking
The eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10). Blessed are:
Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)
Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)
Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven "good" Apostles. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus to the Romans.
Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed: