From Tracie: How Do You Sing YOUR Christmas Carols?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How Do You Sing YOUR Christmas Carols?

Every year we go on a Christmas light hunt on Christmas Eve. We dress in pajamas and slippers, and take thermoses of hot chocolate and boxes of cookies in the car with us. Then we sing Christmas carols as loud as possible while driving around looking at Christmas lights. Every year there comes the point when we have sung all the Christmas songs we know really well, and we have to start in on the ones that we think we know, but really don't.

Do You Hear What I Hear
I love "Do You Hear What I Hear?" In seventh grade I sang it in a Christmas program. I knew all of the words in seventh grade, and even having a ruptured ear drum didn't stop me from singing them. But with 11 months of not thinking about it each year, I inevitably forget the words, and between the lamb and the shepherd boy and the mighty king, I can't remember who is speaking or singing or praying or bringing gold. 

Once I get to the point in the song where I can no longer remember the right words (and Thomas is no help because he can't remember the words to any song), Katarina, loudly, so she can be heard over me, obeys her own personal Christmas carol rule: When in doubt of lyrics, sing "Joy to the World."

(We sing a lot of Joy to the World.)

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph has it's own specific set of problems. All three of us agree on the main words, but the echo words after each line are a battlefield.

Echo Words Example: "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer Reindeer Had a very shiny nose Like a light-bulb..."

This is the problem line: "Then all the reindeer loved him Loved him and they shouted out with glee_________" I know that the echo word to this line is "Yippee!" but Thomas is convinced that it is "Glee!" as in, "And they shouted out with glee Glee!"

It doesn't make sense that they would shout out "Glee!", does it? No.

After screaming singing joyfully "Glee" and "Yippee" at each other for about five minutes, Katarina finishes out the song for us at a level of loudness never before contained within the confines of a single vehicle.

(Our disagreement about this song is so big, I have taken polls and made a video to prove the correct words to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.)

At this point we sing some non-controversial songs like "Silent Night," "Deck the Halls," and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." Christmas is better without lyrical fighting.

The Little Drummer Boy
One of Katarina's favorite songs is "The Little Drummer Boy." This song is fun to sing, but I can't help but be confused when I imagine the story we are singing: Here is Mary. She is 14 years old or so. Mary has just ridden for days on a donkey, gone through hours of unmedicated labor in a barn with no one to help except Joseph, and now she finally has gotten her new baby to fall asleep. And here comes the drummer boy, asking if he can play his drum? Is he serious right now? The donkeys and cows aren't loud enough, you want to add drumming into the mix? There is no way "Mary rum ba bum bum." The whole drumming for the baby part kind of ruins the moment for me. 

The Twelve Days Of Christmas
By this point in the night, I can't put it off any longer. We have to sing Thomas' favorite Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."  That is right, my husband, who can't remember the lyrics to songs he hears every day of the year, has decided his favorite Christmas song is the one with the most words in the history of song writing.

We do really well through the first few days. Partridges, turtle doves, french hens. The calling birds take a few tries to remember, but then the five golden rings always save us - sung long and at the top of our lungs, "On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Five Goolldd-eenn Rings!!! Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree."

After the fifth day comes the sixth (I know, surprising, isn't it? Aren't you happy that you came by my blog today to learn this important piece of counting information?), and the sixth day brings memory problems...

Thomas: "On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six swans...six lords a leaping"

Tracie: "No."

Thomas: "Six maids, no, six ladies singing"

Tracie: "No."

Thomas: "On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six drummers drumming" (what is with all of the drumming at Christmastime?)

Tracie: "No."

Thomas: "On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six french hens."

Tracie: "No, that was the third day."

Thomas: "Six pipers piping."

Tracie: "No."

Thomas: "On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me....."

Katarina, interjecting loudly: "Six Crazy Heads!"

Ahhh, Christmas fun. When in doubt of the words, and after your parents have already said no to more "Joy to the World," make up your own words. It is funnier that way, anyway!

The Mommy Mess


  1. hahah love it! sounds like a great tradition!

  2. I loved this!!!!!!!!!!

    This sounds like so much fun... now if only I could get the Poolboy to sing!

  3. LoL, that's great, sounds like a wonderful and completely fun family tradition!!! :D

  4. I like that tradition. There isn't much to look at here in my tiny town. I wish there was. It would be fun to do something like that! Thanks for all the advice. I'm thinking I might give that Gripe Water a try. I'm willing to try anything at this point!

  5. What an amusing post and a heartwarming tradition!

    I'm the type of person who can't stand mis-sung lyrics, so I'd be the Scrooge in the car I'm afraid. Sounds like you handle it pretty well.