Singing with your children is one of the simple pleasures of the holiday season. It’s a great time to relive memories from your childhood and also to make new ones for your family! Have you ever thought of making your own, custom-tailored Christmas song? If you have creative kids and a sense of humor, you can easily make your own version of the classic holiday song – the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Almost everyone is familiar with the song’s lyrics:
“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
a partridge in a pear tree.”
Then, each day, a new gift is added and the list becomes part of the song. To see the popular list of 12 days/gifts, take a look below. However, originally the song was used as part of a memory game where each person added a verse and then had to recite all the items that had come before them. Some people believe there is special hidden symbolism in the words, and that each items reflects some part of the story of the life of Jesus. In any event, the song has been treasured and passed down for many generations and has easily become part of holiday festivities in countries all over the globe.
How can you write your own version? Use the same melody and format, but add the names of things that are special to you and your loved ones. You can also describe what the holiday means to people in your area. For instance, here’s a great version of the 12 days of Christmas written by a class of school children in St. Croix. The wanted to share what holiday cheer meant to them on their island. It’s a funny and fun version of their own special 12 days and I especially love their choice for day 5 – five centipedes!
Here’s what they created:
On The Twelve Days of Christmas – Crucian Style
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
An iguana in a Mango tree.
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
2 forts with cannons etc.
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
3 mocko jumbies etc. (Special stilt walkers seen in St. Croix)
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
4 frogs a singing etc.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
5 centipedes etc.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
6 cruise ships coming etc.
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
7 roosters crowing etc
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
8 geckos climbing etc.
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
9 lobsters swimming etc
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
10 Crucians speaking etc
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
11 children dancing etc.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
12 steel pans drumming etc.
What can you sing about? Choose anything that is a part of your holiday celebration. Will there be a number of presents wrapping? A nativity set up? Cookies being baked? Visits to friends? Are their ornaments to be hung? Special pictures to be taken? Carols sung by the tree? If you enlist your kids help, it won’t be hard to find 12 things you all love about Christmas to turn into a very special and unique song.
Here’s hoping this fun holiday song makes some great memories for you and your family this year!
The Original 12 Days of Christmas
1 A Partridge in a Pear Tree
2 Turtle Doves
3 French Hens
4 Calling (or Colly) Birds
5 Golden Rings
6 Geese A-Laying
7 Swans A Swimming
8 Maids A-Milking
9 Ladies Dancing
10 Lords A-Leaping
11 Pipers Piping
12 Drummers Drumming
Many thanks to Miss Barb and her students at the AZ Academy on the island of St. Croix for allowing me to share their creative songwriting in this post!
Illustration is from the Catholic Toolbox, who have created a cute memory game with the twelve images seen here: