Three French Hens

My favorite coffee purveyor recently released a new set of winter- and holiday-theme gift cards. The one I liked the most was designed especially for Francophiles like moi. Well, OK, I made that last part up, but I’ll keep believing it anyway!

Hear me out: There’s a dozen design ideas in the “12 Days of Christmas” song and yet only the Three French Hens made it onto a gift card. Quelle coïncidence? I think not!

The card design shows one hen with feathers in the colors of the American and French flags (red, white, and blue), while the other two hens appear to have feathers in traditional Christmas colors (red and green).

Look closely and you’ll see the chic hens (chickens, get it?) are sporting mini berets! If that isn’t enough to get even the grumpiest Grinch or Scrooge to melt and go awwww, then I don’t know what will!

What’s the meaning of Three French Hens anyway?

One belief is that the lyric from the popular Christmas carol refers to docile Faverolles, a French breed of chicken that is a favorite with young children because they make good pets.

But there are other theories. According to Catholic Straight Answers, the three hens “signify both the gifts of the Magi (gold, frankincense, and myrrh), and the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.”

Well, both explanations sound good to me! All I know is that seeing this card made me smile. That’s the best gift of all.

For more information:

  • What is the Origin and Meaning of the Christmas Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas? (link)

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