The 12 Days of Christmas. A member of the Christmas Song Hall of Fame. The song, even if all the lyrics don’t come immediately to mind, is known by almost all of us (you’re going through the days you know right now aren’t you?). Sometime around 1780 in England, the song was conceived as a homage to the 12 days between Christmas and the coming of the Magi. Back in those days birds were apparently a big part of Christmas; turtle doves, French hens, geese, swans, and of course partridges. These days, unless Target or Best Buy is selling birds at 75% off, probably not so much. Ladies dancing, golden rings, and lords leaping all are a bit out of touch with today’s Christmas so I thought it would be fun to let my kids update the 12 Days of Christmas and its maids a milking and drummers drumming.
I sat down with my girls the other night and went through the song, line by line, and got their take on what they would like it to be.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a partridge in a pear tree
M: Ok, so I decided to keep this line. I thought it gave the whole thing a logical beginning, plus my kids wanted to use ‘A bag full of stinging bees’ as the first line. I didn’t tell them though.
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me: 2 DS games.
9yo: You know the ones we want Daddy. And we told Santa too.
M: Got it. Next line.
6yo: Daddy, I want that game that…
M: Got it! Next line!
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me…3 orders of French fries.
9yo: Should we say ketchup too Daddy?
M: No, I think the French fries were enough.
M: Next line.
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…4 pots of coffee.
6yo: I said that one for you Daddy because I know you love your coffee.
M: Thanks honey. Next line.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…5 Chocolate Pennies!!
9yo: You mean the ones wrapped with the gold paper?
9yo: Oh, I would so eat all of those pennies. This one time in 3rd grade, our class…
M: Next line!
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…6 prayers from Mommy.
M: What do you mean by that?
9yo: When she gets mad at us and starts praying we start listening.
M: We better not let Mommy hear this. For all of our sakes. Oh, and H?
9yo: Yeah Daddy?
6yo: Daddy, I’m always good right?
M: Ummmm…Next line.
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…7 marshmallows for our hot chocolate.
9yo: Daddy, will you make us hot chocolate?
6yo: Please Daddy!!
6yo & 9yo in unison: Please!
M: Its 8 o’clock at night. Why don’t I take the Wolfman for a walk during a full moon too? Stop crying. Next…stop crying. Next line.
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…8 people drinking.
9yo: Daddy, I mean as in drinking milk. Not getting drunk.
M: Ok? Just remind me we need to have a talk when we’re done here.
6yo: Daddy you like beer or milk better?
6yo: Is that why you always tell us we should leave a beer for Santa Claus?
M: Next line!
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…9 Turkey’s sweating.
M: What the hell is 9 turkey’s sweating?
6yo: Daddy, it means nine… turkeys… sweating.
9yo: Daddy, it’s our song.
M: But what do sweating turkeys have to do…nevermind. Next line.
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…10 chocolate sundaes.
9yo: Oh my god Daddy, we should make sundaes.
M: Oh my god H, no.
M: Probably because I don’t like you.
6yo: H, Daddy is just kidding. Right Daddy?
M: Yes. It’s because not only can you not have an ice cream sundae this late, I conveniently have nothing to make an ice cream sundae with.
9yo: We could go to the store?
6yo: What does conveniently mean?
M: Next line!
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…11 Clarinets playing.
M: It was a joke. Sorry. Next line.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…12 yummy muffins!
M: 12 yummy muffins? Really?
6yo: Yes daddy. Yummy muffins.
M: Did your mother feed you two tonight? Ok. Big finale!
12 yummy muffins
11 clarinets playing
10 chocolate sundaes
9 turkeys sweating
8 people drinking
7 marshmallows for our hot chocolate
6 prayers from Mommy
5 Chocolate Pennies
4 pots of coffee
3 French Fries
2 DS games
And a partridge in a pear tree!
9yo: Daddy, what happened to the bag of stinging bees?