How Many Gifts Are in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" Song?

364 gifts are in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song if all of the gifts mentioned in each of the verses were added together. Each verse references a gift that corresponds with the particular day of Christmas, from one gift (a partridge in a pear tree) on the first day to 12 items (drummers drumming) on the final day, with each previous gift accumulating throughout each new day’s verse of the song. Combined, there would be: 12 partridges in pear trees, 22 turtle doves, 30 French hens, 36 calling birds, 40 gold rings, 42 geese a-laying, 42 swans a-swimming, 40 maids a-milking, 36 ladies dancing, 30 lords a-leaping, 22 pipers piping, and 12 drummers drumming.

More about “The Twelve Days of Christmas”:

  • Some historians believe the song originated from a children’s counting and tongue twister game, in which players had to recite the phrases correctly or be out.
  • The verse for the fourth day of Christmas, in which the gift is four calling birds, originally had lyrics for “collie birds” an old-fashioned term for blackbirds.
  • “Five golden rings” is thought to not be about jewelry but rather refer to pheasants, which have golden colored rings around their necks.
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