A popular Christmas party game is the singing of Christmas carols. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is one of the most popular carols and is sure to be included in any party sing-along. Usually the lyrics become a series of jumbles and giggles as singers struggle to remember each of the twelve gifts that were delivered by the true love as the song's lyrics reveal.

Like many Christmas carols, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is an English carol which lists a series of extravagant gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. Each verse build on the next which means that each verse is repeated over and over throughout the song. It is sung and recorded throughout America and Europe during the holiday season. The date the song was first performed is not known but it is believed to be from Europe in the 16th century. The modern arrangement includes the melody of the lyrics "five gold rings" which was written in the 20th century by Frederick Austin. This is the version sung today and "five gold rings" (or some sing "five golden rings") is undoubtedly the words most singers remember.

The "Twelve Days of Christmas" is also a children's rhyme published in a book called Mirth without Mischief in London around 1780. Years later the rhyme was adopted as a song that was enjoyed by the whole family having fun singing on the twelfth night before Christmas.

There are those who believe that the song lyrics reference hidden spiritual meanings. They claim that the items in the song, concern concepts of Christian faith which was devised as a memory game for children during a time that Christian religion was suppressed. Though the claim of hidden meanings has not been fully proven by any reliable sources. This is the list the assumed hidden meanings:

1 Partridge in a pear tree = The One true God revealed in the person of Jesus Christ
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch" which contain the law condemning us of our sins.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

The Christmas gifts recited in the song are grandiose and extravagant and nearly impossible to deliver. The cumulative cost alone would make the delivery of all twelve Christmas gifts an impossible endeavor. Just how much would all the twelve gifts cost? For the fun of it, lets take a look:

One Partridge in a Pear Tree - the tree is $130.00, the partridge is $15.00. Total $145.00
Two Turtle Doves - $40.00
Three French Hens - $45.00
Four Calling Birds - $440.00
Five Gold Rings - $325.00
Six Geese a-Laying - $400.00
Seven Swans a-swimming - $4000.00
Eight Maids a-Milking - $520.00
Nine Ladies Dancing - $4550.00
Ten Lords a-Leaping - $5000.00
Eleven Pipers Piping - $2500.00
Twelve Drummers Drumming - $2500.00

Total of the Twelve Days of Christmas Gifts - $20, 465.00

The final costs of all twelve gifts of "The Twelve Gifts of Christmas" truly is extravagant! Perhaps the grandiose nature of the gifts is representative of the gift bearers love for his true love.

On another interesting Christmas carol note, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the world's largest performing rights organization, produced a list of the its top 25 most-performed Holiday songs. for the first five years. No doubt you'll find your favorite Christmas carol in this list.
1.The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) - Mel Torme, Robert Wells
2.Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie
3.Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin
4.Winter Wonderland - Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
5.White Christmas - Irving Berlin
6.Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
7.Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - Johnny Marks
8.Jingle Bell Rock - Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe
9.I'll Be Home For Christmas - Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram
10.Little Drummer Boy - Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone
11.Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish
12.It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Edward Pola, George Wyle
13.Silver Bells - Jay Livingston, Ray Evans
14.Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Johnny Marks
15.Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano
16.Blue Christmas - Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson
17.Frosty The Snowman - Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins
18.A Holly Jolly Christmas - Johnny Marks
19.I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Tommie Connor
20.Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) - Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman
21.It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Meredith Willson
22.(There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays - Bob Allen, Al Stillman
23.Carol Of The Bells - Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich
24.Santa Baby - Joan Ellen Javits, Philip Springer, Tony Springer
25.Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney

Whether you enjoy the Christmas classics or holiday songs that didn't make the list (like the Twelve Days of Christmas). Hearing them or singing them rings in the season and makes any party a little more festive. So enjoy the music of Christmas during holiday festivities and Christmas party games!