Best Games to Play on New Year's Eve

Wow! I honestly don't know where 2019 went. It seems time just flies. Sometimes I feel as if I want to slow the clock and savor every minute.

We welcome the New Year at home. I've never wanted to be on the streets with the drivers who haven't learned the meaning of designated driver.

Counting Down & Playing Games

This year one of our kids and his kids are joining us so we'll be playing games. We're all fierce tabletop gamers, and we have an entire cabinet of games for kiddies up to adults.

The latest addition to our cabinet is Rummikub, the travel version.This form of rummy is a great game for family, and the travel version is perfect for taking on a family vacation, like a cruise.

Video Tutorials for Games

If you're interested in the game, watch this Rummikub YouTube video.

We also play card games. Even our youngest player is a competitive shark. *LOL*

That's the great thing about family card games. They're suitable for young to old.

Our favorite card games for many players are Rummy, Uno, Crazy 8, Golf, and, most recently Hand and Foot.

Here's a video tutorial for Hand and Foot. and here's a video tutorial for Golf card game.

Video for the Top 5 Best Card Games.

If there's a particular card game you'd like to learn or become more proficient at playing, search YouTube for a tutorial.

Takeaway Truth

In the meantime, put your party clothes on, get the appetizers ready, and break out the bubbly. Ready or not, here comes 2020.

Happy New Year!

4 Ways to Pack Away the Old Year

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Today is the second to last day of 2019. Many of you are focused on New Year's Eve parties, New Year's Day resolutions, and other things to do with new beginnings.

I believe it's good to take some time to think about the waning year and literally and figuratively pack it away.

5 Ways to Pack Away the Old Year

1. Get a storage box for the literal packing away.

This can be as simple and small as a shoe box, more official, like a cardboard file box, or something more decorative like this set of 3 gray fabric storage boxes which I prefer since I stack them on a shelf that's visible to all.

Whatever you choose for your 2019 memorabilia, get started by going through what you want to save.

Place the papers, cards, and photographs you want to keep in the box you've chosen.

For the figurative packing away, as you place each item in your storage box, celebrate the happy events and achievements of 2019. Remember the unhappy ones because you survived them and grew stronger. You probably learned something from them.

2. Record the highs and lows of the year.

We always think we'll remember what happened when. As the years pass though, you may find yourself unable to recall whether something important happened in 2018 or 2019 or some other year. I always pack away my day planner in my yearly storage box.

If you don't have a day planner or journal to pack away, write something even if it's just to jot down the dates of the important events of 2019.

3. Start the new year with a day planner for 2020.

For 2020, I had to change day planners again. I couldn't find the one I used last year anywhere so I shopped Amazon until I found one that met all my needs.

I'm using this 2020 Daily Planner for 2020. It's 5-3/4" x 8-1/4" and has Monthly Tabs, an Inner Pocket, has a strong elastic band and a pen loop. My day planner keeps me on track with my writing goals, appointments, and other obligations.

4. Plan now to keep a Journal in 2020.
Love This Cover!

"A life worth living is a life worth remembering." My mother kept journals. I have a box of her journals that helped me see her as a woman, not just as my mother.

This "Love, Your Notebook" by Eccolo Dayna Lee Collection is the journal for 2020 that I love! It's a gray 8" x 10" hardcover journal. What the cover says sold me on it!

Every day I will write at least 3 things that I'm grateful for plus remarks about the day's events whether they be mundane or significant.

A journal will work as a day planner too if you don't want to use a formal day planner. Even a notebook or spiral composition book will work. Just use something to mark the momentous events in your life. Write a sentence or two about each day. You'll enjoy looking back on your life.

Takeaway Truth

Pack away the old year, and let's get ready for a brand spanking New Year!

Celebrate Boxing Day with Box Sets

If the weather outside is frightful, stay inside, avoid the after-Christmas crowds, and read something delightful!

Box Sets Perfect for Boxing Day

Many countries celebrate Boxing Day. Why not adopt that habit too?

As a reader, Boxing Day is perfect for stocking up on Box Sets of Fiction. The Holiday Romance Box Sets below are each only 99 cents.

Fill your Amazon cart with several and give box sets to your reading friends and family too. (Instructions to do this are at the end of this post.)

Christmas Shorts

18 Romance Short Stories, all new for 2019 Holidays, by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors!

Love, Christmas 1, Songs of the Heart, inspired by favorite Christmas Songs.

Love, Christmas 2, Movies You Love, inspired by favorite Christmas Movies.

A Christmas She'll Remember, 7 holiday novels.

Snowflakes and Christmas Kisses, 7 holiday novels.

If you just want a single romance instead of a box set, here are 4 novels and 2 short stories for your consideration.

Brianna's Season for Miracles

Just One Look

Last Christmas

LuvU4Ever (FREE at most Kindle Shops)

Nobody's Cinderella

Stuck on the Naughty List

How To Give a Kindle Ebook as a Gift

To give a free ebook, just copy the link and send it to your friend. (To get it for yourself, just click the link and follow through.)

To buy an ebook as a gift, all you need to do is click the embedded link for the book that takes you to the book page. Click BUY FOR OTHERS then just fill out the form with the information.

Don't Know Recipients Amazon Email?

If you do not know your recipient's email address she/he uses for Amazon purchases, then you still click BUY FOR OTHERS, but in the TO box, put your email address. When you receive notice of the Kindle gift, forward it to your recipient.

About Kindle Book Gifting

• Send your gift instantly via email.
• Recipient can read their Kindle book on any device with the free Kindle app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, PC and Mac, and on Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.
• Recipient can exchange for a gift card if they have already read or don't want the book.

Takeaway Truth

Enjoy browsing these books. I hope you'll find some you'll like. Most of all, relax. You'll need lots of energy for New Year's Eve. *g*

Ready for Christmas Recipe

Christmas Eve is always special. For kids, it's the day before the big Santa day.

For adults, it's the day relatives begin arriving—children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, in-laws and outlaws too.

One of my favorite things on Christmas Eve is the candlelight service at church.

Before the evening though, it's time to make something that can be served warm on Chritsmas morning.

Nordic Ware Bundt Pan
Pumpkin Raisin Bread is one of my favorites to bake on Christmas Eve to serve Christmas morning. It has the spices of winter, and, with the help of a baking mix like Bisquick or Pioneer, it's easy peasy.

I bake this in the Bundt pan my Mom gave to me more than 30 years ago. It's a heavy, cast aluminum Nordic Ware pan like the one shown below.  There are cheaper pans, but this heavy one distributes the heat evenly and bakes without overcooking the batter that comes in contact with the metal.

Pumpkin Raisin Bread

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not the pie filling just plain pumpkin)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups baking mix
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cup raisins
  1. Heat over to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray baking pan of your choice (I used a Bundt pan.) with Baker's Joy or use a little vegetable oil to coat it lightly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the vegetable oil, pumpkin, eggs, and sugar. Add baking mix and cinnamon. Mix well. Stir in the raisins.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and turn out onto serving plate. Slice and serve warm
  6. If serving tomorrow, let it cool then wrap well in foil and refrigerate.
  7. When serving, slice the bread, place on a microwaveable plate, and re-heat in the microwave or a toaster oven.
  8. Delicious served cold or warm.
Takeaway Truth

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, prosperous, Happy New Year!

Mischievous Christmas Angel by Mimi Barbour

Mischievous Christmas Angel 
Angels With Attitudes Series Book 5
by Mimi Barbour
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Sarna Publishing
Publication Date: October 28, 2019

After one night of blistering lovemaking that would bring any sane man to his knees clutching a ring, Jack’s forced to accept Mia’s unexpected rejection. Then when she seems to be warming up to having a relationship, danger erupts around him in freakish accidents and mystical happenings. How can he permit her and her little girl to be anywhere near these threats?

Mia lovingly adopts her best friend’s four-year-old child in accordance with her will. She also agrees to move her new family and her business to live with her aunt before the Christmas holidays arrive. But… she isn’t willing to hold on to a man because of one incredible night’s loss of restraint.

**On Sale for only .99cents! ** 

Mimi is an incredibly busy NYT and USA Today award-winning, best-selling author who has seven series to her credit. The Vicarage Bench Series – Spirit/Time -Travel tales that have a surprising twist / The Angels with Attitude Series – Angels Love Romance / The Elvis Series – Make an Elvis song a book / Vegas Series – 6 books full of romantic suspense, humor and gritty conflicts / and… the fast-paced, edgy, humorous, romantic suspense, Undercover FBI Series /The Holiday Heatwarmer Series - puppies become cupids. And the latest, explosive Mob Tracker Series - six books full of conflicts and characters you'll hate to leave.

Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island and writes her various romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
**1st place prize of the 2015 - Chanticleer Reviews - Clue Awards. Special Agent Francesca
**A TOUCH OF PASSION, has just become the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers' Choice Awards. 

$25 Amazon 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Quick Blog Tip: National Whatever Day

Whenever you're stumped for what to blog about, you can turn to websites that tell you what happened on this day in history or what the day is known for. That often gives you an idea for a blog post.

Another resource is a website that tells you what this day is known for, i.e., National Book Day.

One of those "special day" websites is a bit different. It's called Checkiday, and it lists decidedly odd names for days.

For instance, on that website, it listed yesterday, December 18, as National Wear a Plunger on Your Head Day. Seriously? I don't know about you, but I wouldn't  wear a plunger on my head. However, I'd happily take a picture of anyone who did.

I can't tell you where Checkiday gets their information for what each day is, but I'm thinking there may be a freak flag flying at that website.

December 19, According to Checkiday

National Holly Day. Okay, that's normal and appropriate.

National Regifting Day. I guess everyone does this, but I had no idea there was a day to celebrate it. I learned that it's been celebrated the Thursday before Christmas since 2006. Who knew?

Be sure and look for December 20, National Cathode-Ray Tube Day. Hmm. A cathode-ray tube is the part on an old TV set that enabled it to show pictures. Why would anyone celebrate this?

Also on the 20th is National Dot Your I's Day. If you want to know how to celebrate the day, visit Dot Your I's Day on Checkiday.

Takeaway Truth

Bookmark the various websites that list historical events by date and national whatever days then use them for inspiration when your imagination needs a rest.

Woman Hollering Creek & Other Texas Names

I don't know about other states, but here in Texas we have great names for our creeks, and some pretty descriptive ones for towns too.

Today, as I drove over the bridge at Mustang Creek, I thought about this.

You know how the brain works. You're thinking about one thing—like the fact that busy Interstate 45 crosses Mustang Creek, probably named more than a century ago because of the mustangs roaming free in that.

Tangential Thinking

Then your brain jumps to other creek names like Woman Hollering Creek on the road to San Antonio.

Maps dating from the 1830s name this creek as Arroyo de la Llorona, Weeping Woman Creek. Stories abound as to how this creek came by its name.

Some say Weeping Woman refers to a woman who drowned her children in the creek. Others say a pioneer woman went to wash clothes in the creek and was captured by the indigenous Comanches. She screamed and wept and hollered for help, but no one could reach her before she was taken away.

Still another origin said that pioneers camping nearby heard panthers screaming in the night, a blood-curdling sound like a woman's scream. Take your pick there are probably a half a dozen stories about the origin of the name with no recorded history to back up any of the stories. In the end, Woman Hollering stuck fast as the name for the creek.

Memorable Texas Names

We have creeks named after animals, people, geographic locations, colors, and Native American Tribes.

In the Houston area, we have Little Cypress Creek that has succeeded in flooding thousands of vehicles and homes since 2017. Little? Hmmm.

There's Big Cow Creek, Little Cow Creek, Calf Creek, as well as Cat, Bear, Buffalo, Fox, Alligator Creek, and several varieties of fowl and bird creek names.

Your imagination can supply the reasons for these names: Buried City Creek, Cowhouse Creek, Horsepen Creek, North Big Blue Creek, Scalp Creek,  and Battle Creek, named after a 24-hour battle between white surveyors and Kickapoos, Wacos, Tehuacanas, and Caddoes. Calamity Creek was named for the flash flood that washed away an adobe house built near the creek.

Let's Go to Town

Bigfoot was named for Texas Revolution fighter William A. "Bigfoot" Wallace, not the mythical creature.

Bug Tussle. Yes, it really is a place in Texas. It was an unincorporated community named after an insect swarm ruined an ice cream social in the 1890s.

Many have heard of Cut and Shoot, named, according to the Texas State Historical Association, after a heated community argument and a young boy claiming, "I'm going to cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes!"

In a community that had no post office until 1877, residents would place their outgoing mail and a dime in a small box for delivery to Giddings, a nearby city. The community came to be known as Dime Box.

Ding Dong? Yep. That was a real place. In 1930s, Bert and Zulis Bell, two brothers, ran a country store between Killeen and Florence. They had an advertisement that started as a joke—a picture featuring two bells labeled Ding and Dong. The name stuck and became the town's name.

DISH, Texas. What people won't do to better a town's economy. In 2005, the residents of Clark, in Denton County, Texas, concocted a scheme to get free satellite service for the town.

They agreed to rename their town DISH, if the DISH Network would provide them with free satellite. The company accepted the deal and provided free service and equipment for 10 years.
Named for Blue Bell wildflowers growing nearby.

There are others like Gun Barrel City, Quanah (named after a famous Comanche Chief Quanah Parker, born of a white captive), and Buck Naked, but those are stories for another day.

Takeaway Truth

Have you visited Texas yet? You should, and take pictures of all of the name oddities to entertain your family and friends back home.

3 Weird Laws Ruled My Day

There are a lot of those "Murphy's Law" type of situations in life. Somehow, 3 of them ruled my day. Maybe they'll provide inspiration for a story.

Lerman's Law of Technology
Any technical problem can be overcome given enough time and money. (A new router. Don't ask!)

Grocery Bag Law
The candy bar you planned to eat on the way home from the market is hidden at the bottom of the grocery bag. (Where's my Snickers bar?)

Law of Auto Repair
The part requiring the most consistent repair or replacement will be housed in the most inaccessible location. (The battery in my sports car.)

Takeaway Truth

Some days you just wish you had stayed in bed.

Best Gift Ever: iPhone Flash Drive

Do you print the pictures stored on your phone?

Do you backup the pictures on your phone?

Do you worry about maxing out your phone's memory?

If you answered yes to any of these, I have the perfect gift for you. I gave myself one as an advance Christmas gift. *g* It arrived today!

It's the HALOS 64gb Flash Drive for iPhone to USB 3.0, and it's only $19.99 with free Prime Shipping if that's a concern. You can get a bigger gigabyte flash drive if 64gb aren't enough for you.

There's still time to send it to arrive before Christmas.

One end of it fits into your iPhone. The other end goes into a USB port.

You can download the pictures from your cell phone onto this then load them onto your computer for permanent storag, and printing from your computer.

Or take this to your favorite commercial photo printer and use it to select and print photos there.

Of course, you can just keep your photos on this jump drive for backup storage.

This device works on iPhone, iPad, iPod, and can be used for video or photographs.

Takeaway Truth

Sheer genius device.

Must Get Book: Best-Loved Songs of Christmas

When Christmas comes, I pull out my copy of Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins.

I love reading the history of the Christmas carols I've sung since I was a child. These are the songs we all know and love.

I first read this book and its companion, More Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, on my Kindle.

I found myself reading from these books every Christmas. I decided others would like these as gifts so I started giving them as Christmas presents.

The Kindle editions of all the books are inexpensive, the paperback editions are moderately priced, and the hardcover editions vary from affordable for used copies to expensive for new copies of the rarer books. There should be a price point for every budget.

A few years ago, I got the hardcovers for myself so I could pull them from the bookshelf and read a selection from them to the grandkids.

Build a tradition around one or more of these books. I think these books are wonderful which is why I blog about them during the

I was pleased to see the author has other "Stories Behind" Books.

More Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas

Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas (Pop Hits)

Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas

Stories behind the Songs and Hymns about Heaven

Takeaway Truth

So if you're looking for a gift for yourself or for someone else, try these books. Anyone who knows these songs will love these books.

Lots of Ways to Win This Christmas

Authors always make the holidays exciting with giveaways, Rafflecopters, and contests.

There are so many ways to win great prizes this holiday season, and most of those ways are hosted by authors and author blog groups.

Here are just a few that I know about. Most only require a comment on a blog post, leaving your email addy written out, or clicking the buttons on a Rafflecopter and following the instructions.

Good luck! Hope you win big!

Mistletoe Mashup

Check out the Mistletoe Mashup post which has not one, but two Giveaways.

One giveaway and prize is a free Kindle copy of the romance collection, Snowflakes and Christmas Kisses.

The second giveaway prize is a Kindle copy of the romance collection, Love, Christmas 1.

To enter to win each prize, just leave a comment about the holidays with your email addy written out so you can be contacted. Both of these giveaways are random drawing from those who enter as described.

These giveaways are open until Dec. 20, midnight. Winners will be contacted Dec. 21 by email.


This is the December Rafflecopter from Romance Gems, a group blog written by two dozen bestselling romance authors.

There are several very nice Amazon Gift Cards up for grabs. This Giveaway is open until 6pm CST, Dec. 31, so there's plenty of times and ways to enter. Details are on the Giveaway page. Good luck.

Holiday Book Fair

Sponsored by Romance Gems, this Book Fair features a couple of dozen holiday romances at great prices. Technically, this isn't a giveaway, but book bargains are always a good thing.

Loving the Book Christmas Countdown Blitz 2019

Loving the Book Christmas Countdown is open to December 20.

Check out their daily posts.

Authors Billboard has Amazon Gift Cards up for grabs and dozens of wonderful Romance Collections for the Holidays. Check them out today. Most are only 99cents!

Martha Stewart's Countdown to Christmas has great prizes if you're looking for something in the housewares arena.

Julie's Freebies is a website that lists giveaways and sweepstakes. If you're into contesting, you'll like this. There are several for the holidays, and the website gives information on improving your chances of winning, lists the giveaways with the links and the ending dates.

TrySpree is a website where you can sign up and get free stuff. You might give this a try.

If you really love entering contests and giveaways, just do a google search and you'll find plenty of websites lists.

Remember, to use common sense about any website you're not familiar with. Don't give out vital information about yourself of your financial information.

Takeaway Truth

Have fun. Hope you win something great.

My Top 10 Fave Christmas Songs

Those who write song lyrics are experts in using few words to express profound thoughts that touch the emotions.

Music is always a big part of my life, and that's especially true at Christmas. So here's my Top 10 list, in no particular order, of favorite holiday songs. Click the song, and you can listen on YouTube. I've included a buy link if you want to grab your own copy.

1. Merry Texas Christmas, Y'all by Asleep at the Wheel (At Amazon. Just click on the title of the song if you want only that song.) 

2. Mele Kalikimaka, Hawaiian Christmas Song, by Bing Crosby (At Amazon. Just click on the title of the song if you want only that song.) Several artists like Jimmy Buffett, Kacey Musgraves, and others have recorded this, but this is the one I grew up listening to so it's my fave. Thanks, Mom!)

3. Donde Esta Santa Clause by Straight No Chaser. (At Amazon. From the Christmas Cheers album which I totally love! Just click on the title of the song if you want only that song.)

4. Santa Claus is Back in Town by Kurt Russell in the movie Christmas Chronicles. Yes, that's really Kurt singing. In case you didn't know, he played Elvis in a couple of movies in his earlier career. (I couldn't find this single available anywhere, and the movie is only available on Netflix.)

5. Last Christmas by Wham. I like this song so much I used it and the sense of the song as the premise for a holiday romance, also called Last Christmas. (At Amazon. Just click on the title of the song if you want only that song.)

6. Please Come Home for Christmas by The Eagles, our all-time favorite band. (At Amazon. Just click on the title of the song if you want only that song.)

7. Do You Hear What I Hear? by Bing Crosby. Thanks again to Mom. (At Amazon. Just click on the title of the song if you want only that song.)

8. Silent Night by Josh Groban or by just about anyone. Many years ago when I wrote for the newspaper, I had the pleasure of interviewing a descendant of Franz Gruber who wrote the music for what became Silent Night.

9. I Love Those Jingle Bells by Frank Sinatra. Thanks to Mom. (At Amazon. Just click on the title of the song if you want only that song.)

10. A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives. Thanks to the animated feature!  (At Amazon. Just click on the title of the song if you want only that song.)

Takeaway Truth

That's my list—at least it is today. Check with me tomorrow, and I might list some different songs.

Love Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon Prime Music!

What's New? Stuck on the Naughty List

What's New With Me?

I have a new Christmas short story, and I think the cover is sassy, sexy, and holiday cute.

Do you think it will catch the readers' eyes?

Stuck on the Naughty List is only 99cents. Here's a little blurb.

A year ago, Cassie left Ben, the man she loved, so he could have the life he’d been groomed for since birth.

When she returns to Capitola, Texas, her small home town, for Christmas, she’s arrested on a trumped-up charge and taken downtown.

Could the new Chief of Police be the perfect man to mend her broken heart?

Where the Heck is Capitola, Texas?

You can find it on some vintage maps, but your GPS probably can't locate it. Like more than a thousand other towns in Texas, Capitola is a ghost town.

This was the 3rd book I’ve set in a town that was once a real town and is now just a memory. Stuck on the Naughty List is set in a town that no longer exists. Capitola was located in Mason County which is part of the Texas Hill Country. The community boomed briefly and then faded away.

Capitola intrigued me from the moment I read about it because it was founded by a woman—and not just any woman, but an avid reader.

Sarah E. Jenkins, the postmistress, founded the community in 1894. She loved to read and named the town after the heroine in a popular novel of that era: The Hidden Hand, or, Capitola the Madcap by American author E.D.E.N. Southworth. (That’s Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth.)

The little community failed to thrive, and the post office closed its doors a dozen years later. Then the route of the main road was altered, and that was the end of Capitola.

Well, the end until I resurrected it because it was the perfect inspiration for me to create a series with a western swing dance hall, the Capitola Palace Dance Hall, as the center of the social life in the town and surrounding counties.

In case you don’t know, American Western Swing music is a genre that’s entirely Texan. It came out of the Great Depression with Bob Wills as one of the co-founders of the genre.

The song by Waylon Jennings, “Bob Wills Is Still the King,” is a tribute to Wills and Western Swing music which is played in Austin and by popular bands like Asleep at the Wheel. (Check YouTube!)

I loved “meeting” Cassie and Ben and will feature them in a second book as they join forces with a couple of newcomers to save the Capitola Palace Dance Hall from destruction.

Takeaway Truth

I love short stories.

They satisfy my desire to read when I'm too busy to tackle a full-length book or even a novella.

Too busy perfectly describes the time period from Thanksgiving to New Year's.

Grab a copy of Stuck on the Naughty List today!

The Story Behind the 12 Days of Christmas Song

Just about everyone knows the Christmas standard, The Twelve Days Of Christmas, but do you know the fiction and the facts regarding this song?

I’m the kind of person who likes to dig for facts about things. The origin of a creative work is of great interest to me. I hope it is for you too.

In 1995, an essay entitled An Underground Catechism was posted by Father Hal Stockert on the online Catholic Information Network.

Purporting to be the truth behind the popular song The Twelve Days of Christmas, the article resulted in a storm of controversy and was subsequently found to be not historically accurate, resulting in the article being withdrawn.

A few years ago, the article was published again and amended to read:

It has come to our attention that this tale is made up of both fact and fiction. Hopefully it will be accepted in the spirit it was written—as an encouragement to people to keep their faith alive, when it is easy, and also when any outward expressions of their faith could mean their life. Today there are still people living under similar conditions, may this tale give them courage, and determination to use any creative means at their disposal to keep their faith alive.

The essay by Father Stockert has been debunked by many people on the Internet through the years. As a Christian, I wish Father Stockert had posted the essay as his interpretation of the significance of the numbers from one to twelve, symbolic of the religious significance of the twelve days between Christmas Day and Epiphany, January 6, when the three wise men arrived to pay homage to the Christ child.

The True History of The 12 Days of Christmas Carol

The Twelve Days of Christmas is an English Christmas carol that enumerates a series of gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. Although first published in England in 1780, the song may be French in origin.

The song, whose specific origins are obviously unknown, may have begun as a Twelfth Night “memories and forfeits” game. A leader would recite a verse, each of the players repeat the verse, then the leader would add another verse, etc. until a player would make a mistake. The player who messed up the verses would have to pay a penalty, or forfeit, such as a kiss or a sweet.

The 12 days in the song are the 12 days starting Christmas Day. In some traditions, the first day is the day after Christmas, December 26, commonly called Boxing Day in England. (This day is also known as St. Stephen’s Day, the feast day of St. Stephen Protomartyr.) The 12th day is the day before Epiphany, or the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6.

Twelfth Night is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking.”

In 1910, the song came to the United States, courtesy of Emily Brown, of the Downer Teacher’s College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who had found the song in an English music store. She is said to have used the song for the school Christmas pageant.

This Christmas, I’d like to share with you Father Stockert’s essay. One can only assume that he must have come by this explanation of the song at some point in his life and thought it to be the true record of the song’s history.

Whether you find it spiritually rewarding or just a footnote as another Internet urban myth debunked, at least you’ll be entertained and learn the true history of the song, along with a little world history and Christian history in the bargain.

Quoting from Father Stockert’s Essay

To most, the Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is a nonsense rhyme set to music, but it’s more than just a repetitious melody about a bunch of strange gifts.

From 1558 to 1829, after Henry VIII abolished Catholicism and established the Church of England in order to facilitate and legalize his marriage to Anne Boleyn, Catholics in England were banned from any private or public practice of their faith. It was a crime to be a Catholic.

The Twelve Days of Christmas was written as a catechism song to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith. A memory aid was necessary since to be caught with anything in writing that indicated adherence to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned but also could get you hanged or beheaded.

The gifts mentioned in the song had hidden meanings. The true love mentioned in the song doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The me who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ’s sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so….”

The symbolism of the song in its entirety:

Day 1—A Partridge in a Pear Tree is Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Day 2—2 Turtle Doves represent the Old and New Testaments.

Day 3—3 French Hens are Faith, Hope and Love, the Theological Virtues.

Day 4—4 Calling Birds are the 4 Gospels and/or the 4 Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Originally this was a colly bird. Colly means black as coal so a colly bird was probably a black bird.

Day 5—5 Golden Rings are the first 5 Books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy which give the history of man’s fall from grace. Originally this was a gold-ringed pheasant, another bird which re-establishes the first seven verses as being birds.

Day 6—6 Geese A-laying represent the 6 Days of Creation.

Day 7—7 Swans A-swimming are the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the 7 Sacraments: Prophecy, Ministry, Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Leading, and Compassion.

Day 8—8 Maids A-milking are the 8 Beatitudes. "Blessed are: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake."

Day 9—9 Ladies Dancing are the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.

Day 10—10 Lords A-leaping are the 10 Commandments.

Day 11—11 Pipers Piping are the 11 Faithful Apostles: Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James bar Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas bar James. The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.

Day 12—12 Drummers Drumming are the 12 Points of Doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed:
  1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
  2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
  3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
  4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell (the grave).
  5. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
  6. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  7. I believe in the Holy Spirit
  8. the holy catholic (universal) Church
  9. the communion of saints
  10. the forgiveness of sins
  11. the resurrection of the body
  12. and life everlasting.
Takeaway Truth

There you have it—the fact and the fiction of this popular Christmas song.