By J. Ken Conte

 

The origin of the classic holiday song “12 Days of Christmas” is somewhat unclear but what is known is that it enumerates the 12 days following Christmas ending on January 5. The oldest written record of the song dates back to 1780 in a book titled Mirth Without Mischief. A first edition of that book recently sold at auction for $23,750 in 2014.

Many think the song has French origins and was used as a “memory and forfeit game.” This is where singers go back and forth and need to recite the previous verse and their verse. If they “lose” or can’t recall the previous verse they owe a favor or gift to their opponent.

With all the days left until Christmas, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to highlight some NOCO businesses and events. Some that will go along with the theme, and others that are a bit more playful. We hope that this will encourage your own game and get you adventuring into some of our suggestions below.
But first, here are the modern-day lyrics:
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree.
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten Lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven pipers piping, ten Lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten Lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

And here is our modern-day interpretation:

1. Partridge in a Pear Tree: Cardamom Pear Galette from The Pig and the Plow bakery is simple, rustic and divine. Delicious organic pears spiced with the warmth of cardamom and wrapped in a buttery whole-wheat pastry crust create this free-form pie. The fruit shines in this dessert, not the sugar. To get yours, you can contact The Pig and the Plow at thepigandplow.com.

2. Turtle Doves: Sunny Jim’s Candy Ranch in Loveland is a locally owned business with over 55 years of candy making. They offer a large variety of over 200 candies, including seasonal favorites like Turtles, Frogs and Sugar Plums. They are located at 5431 W. U.S. 34 in Loveland.

3. French Hens: Friendly Nick’s Butcher Shop offers a variety of locally raised meats for the holidays with fast, personable and friendly service. Nick offers beef, chicken, lamb and pork options with a myriad of cuts at reasonable prices. He might even come up with a hen or two for you. Visit Friendly Nick’s Butcher Shop at FNButcher.com or go by 2601 S. Lemay Ave., #4, Fort Collins.

4. Calling Birds: The AHL and Colorado Avalanche affiliate, Colorado Eagles, are anything but birds. They made the playoffs in their first season in the league with a winning record. Get in on the action at the Budweiser Event Center, with play continuing through April. More at ColoradoEagles.com.

5. Five Gold Rings: With the stress of the holidays, nothing says relax more than a massage. Spavia Day Spa offers signature massage, sports massage, maternity massage, four-hand massage, deep tissue massage and couples massage. On a cold winter day, a hot stone treatment might be ideal or a couples massage could allow significant others to reconnect. See more at SpaviaDaySpa.com.

Partridge in a Pear Tree: Cardamom Pear Galette from The Pig and the Plow bakery is simple, rustic and divine.

Lords a Leaping: Fort Collins Circus Center wants all ages and abilities to enjoy the art and fitness that aerial workouts can offer.

6. Geese a Laying: AMC Classics 6 offers blockbuster movies just after the original release. AMC Classics 6 is a great opportunity to have the moviegoing experience at a fraction of the cost, located centrally in Fort Collins at 2525 Worthington Circle. If you are looking for a more luxury moviegoing experience, travel to the new Metrolux Dine-in Theater in Downtown Loveland. The theater offers reclining, heated seats and food and drink service to your chair throughout the movie. See their schedule at metrotheatres.com/location/49306/MetroLux-Dine_In-at-The-Foundry.
7. Swans a Swimming: Windsor Community Recreation Center is a great place to take the family and relax during the winter holiday. There is something for everyone with a lane pool, a zero depth entry pool with play features, lazy river, enclosed water slide and a 23-person hot tub. The Windsor Community Recreation Center is available for a drop-in fee and has ample wintertime hours. You can see more at windsorgov.com/1189/CRC-Pool.

8. Maids a Milking: Morning Fresh Dairy of Bellvue has been owned and operated by the Graves family since 1864. They offer home delivery for their milk products as well as a variety of other products all over Northern Colorado. Check out their delicious chocolate milk. You can see more about their home delivery and pricing at MorningFreshDairy.com.

9. Ladies Dancing: Impulse Dance & Fitness has a variety of adult dance classes offered every week, from Barre Fitness and Zumba to Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop and Contemporary Impulse. Dance & Fitness will definitely get anyone dancing into the new year with some new moves. Find out more or sign up online at ImpulseDanceandFitness.com.

 

10. Lords a Leaping: Fort Collins Circus Center wants all ages and abilities to enjoy the art and fitness that aerial workouts can offer. With a basis in dance and yoga, the Fort Collins Circus Center offers aerial silks, acro or flow arts jam, aerial strength and conditioning, and aerial yoga for adults. Kids offerings include special camps, ongoing classes for 18-month to 2-years-old, aerial preparation for 5- to 7-years-old and aerial acrobatic sessions that are long term. Visit fortcollinscircus.com to see all the classes available to get leaping!

11. Pipers Piping: On December 19, Chip Davis, founder of Mannheim Steamroller, will be celebrating the 35th Anniversary of his annual tour, bringing the music of Mannheim Steamroller to the Lincoln Center just in time for the holidays. He will be performing holiday hits from the Mannheim Steamroller catalogue in a festive holiday atmosphere that only the Lincoln Center can offer. Visit the Lincoln Center box office online at lctix.com.

12. Twelve Drummers Drumming: USAF Academy Band will perform a FREE Holly and Ivy show at the Union Colony Civic Center on Monday, December 16, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The concert will feature classic holiday music and exciting new works, including virtuosic soloists and eclectic small group arrangements. Tickets are available to pick up only at the UCCC ticket office. Limit 4 per person, while supplies last.