The Twelve Days of Christmas with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Christmas is an entire season, not one day. In the worldly way of things Christmas is a shopping season that begins the day after Thanksgiving and ends on December 25. The disciples of Christ in the Church are preparing the way for the Lord in Advent and don’t begin Christmas till December 25. Christmas continues for twelve days until Epiphany when the season of light begins until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. A purely consumerist vision of Christmas proceeds from a worldly spirit whereas the Christian vision is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
St. Paul outlines the fruits of these competing spirits in his letter to the Galatians:
I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
St. Paul introduces and summarizes the fruits of the Holy Spirit. If we have followed the Spirit during Advent and prepared the way of the Lord, then the fruits of the Spirit should be noticed as we celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas. St. Paul mentions only nine but there are twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit. When we are guided by the Holy Spirit these twelve fruits become activated in our lives, and we begin to perform them and experience a taste of heaven. The fruits are virtuous acts that make the kingdom of God present whenever they are activated. These Twelve Days of Christmas are the perfect time to live under the guidance of the Spirit and joyfully witness to the world the true meaning of Christmas.