It’s only twelve days until Christmas! I’d like to celebrate the countdown to Christmas by featuring some of my favorite carols. It seems appropriate to present The Twelve Days of Christmas today. Although some people think that the celebration of twelve days occurs before Christmas, it actually begins on Christmas day and continues through early January. The sheet music to The Twelve Days of Christmas is now available on ChristmasMusicSongs.com as a free, printable PDF.
The Twelve Days of Christmas carol dates back to the late eighteenth century, and tells the story of how one’s “true love” gave gifts for twelve straight days. Many gifts! If you add up the total number of presents given over the course of the twelve days in the song, it adds up to 364! For over thirty years, PNC Bank has provided a whimsical financial analysis of how much it would cost to purchase each of the gifts. They call it the Total Christmas Price Index. In 2016, the total cost would amount to $34,363.49, which is a slight increase over last year’s total, due to the lack of availability of Turtle Doves, and “wage increases for the Drummers and Pipers.” However, if you were to actually purchase all 364 items, it would run you $156,507.88! The site is very interesting and entertaining, and it even includes a coloring book of the images used for the index.
The tradition of celebrating Twelve Days of Christmas began before the middle ages. Different parts of the world have observed the holiday in different ways, but basically the celebration begins on December 25 and continues until January 5, also known as Epiphany Eve. The conclusion of the holiday features a big party called The Twelfth Night. Each of the twelve days has religious significance or is associated with a saint. WhyChristmas.com presents an informative history of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and explains the significance of each day.
In anticipation of the holiday, here are two drummers drumming (I didn’t have time to create twelve). Visit the Two Happy Bears for a countdown to Christmas day.