Eight hard-working milkmaids were given as a gift of true love on the eighth day of Christmas…
We’ve reached the eighth day of Blogmas, a celebration of the eight hard-working maids-a-milking who were given as a gift of from one true love to another on the eighth day of Christmas. If you’ve been following my little Christmas blog series, you’ll have hopefully learnt a thing or two about the festive gifts of true love.
For the first seven days of Christmas gifts, true love sent birds. A partridge, a pair of turtle doves, three French Hens, four calling birds, five ring-necked pheasants, six laying geese and seven swimming swans were all sent as tokens of love. On the eighth day, however, perhaps there were no more symbolic birds to send, and so the eight maids were drafted in as the next present.
Now, the religious interpretation of the carol cites the eight maids a-milking as a symbol of the eight ‘beatitudes’, or blessings, which are listed in Matthew 5:3-10:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God
- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
The maids who milked the cows were viewed as the lowest-ranked servants in a home, and so for me and for many, the eight maids a-milking symbolise all of the hard work that goes into Christmas preparations. In many offices around the world the workload may be slackening off as they wind down for Christmas, but there are those who class this as the busiest time of the year, grafting behind the scenes to keep things up and running in the lead-up to Christmas.
Perhaps the busiest of all around this time is Santa Claus himself, keeping his elves on the ball so that all of the presents are ready to go out to true loves around the world.
We’re working hard over Christmas too to make sure websites can handle the extra traffic over the festive period. Make sure you have a hosting solution that is built to take the strain.