The Twelve Days of Christmas

“Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree!”

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” has been a popular holiday song for hundreds of years. It was first published in Mirth Without Mischief, a 1780s children’s book. Researchers say it was used as a “memory or forfeit” game. The first child would say “a partridge in a pear tree”. The second child would have to say “two turtle doves AND a partridge in a pear tree.” The game would continue until somebody couldn’t remember everything on the list. That child would ‘forfeit’ something like a coin or a piece of candy.

Don’t quite remember all the words to the song? I had to look them up, too! Click on the five gold rings to see a short video of the song.

Click here to watch a video of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.

Every year, a newspaper reporter tries to figure out how much it would cost to buy all the items listed in the song. The number has gone up every year.  How much do you think it costs? (Here’s a hint: The most expensive item is the swan. Each one costs $1000!)  Click on the elf to read an article all about it.

$1000 for a swan? Wow

How do you think your Christmas list would compare to the one in the famous song? Let’s find out! Ask your teacher for the sheet I sent called “Christmas Shopping List”. Or click here to see the worksheet.
On the next page, you will see pictures and prices of the most popular toys of the 2012 Christmas season. Choose the toys that you would like to include in your own version of “Twelve Days”, and calculate the cost. (You might want to ask if you can use a calculator!) Have fun shopping! Try to keep your cost as low as possible. Santa has a budget, too, you know!

Click here to go shopping!

A special note from my publisher:

We are collecting new and gently used picture books and middle grade novels. We are giving these books to two wonderful teachers from the Lindenhurst, NY school district, Maria Bohrer and Erica Bohrer, who will be distributing the books directly to their students who lost their entire home libraries in Hurricane Sandy. Please mail your books or bookstore gift cards to us at the above address, and we will deliver your donations to these children in time for the holidays.  Thanks!

Just imagine losing all your books in a terrible storm like these families did! Please gather any books you’d like to donate and send them to some kids who will really enjoy them. What a great way to help someone during the holiday season!

Wouldn’t you love to climb this staircase? Me, too! Have a great week!