By A.C. Cargill

Did you know that the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was really about tea? Well, not really — but it should have been!

For example, the partridge in the pear tree could have been imbibing a delicate green tea while the two turtle doves were dipping their beaks into a nice Earl Grey, and the three French hens roosted in a corner sipping their hot Oolong. You get the idea.

Maybe it’s time for a bit of a rewrite. How’s this? (I did my best to follow the meter of the original lyrics.)

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A partridge drinking green tea.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Two turtle doves,
Slurping Earl Grey tea with the partridge.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Three French hens,
Roosting close by,
And a big pot of hot Oolong tea.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Four calling birds,
Fresh baked scones,
Homemade lemon curd,
And gallon of masala chai.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Five golden rings!
Shining golden bright
In the light
Of the candle flame
By a big pot of Darjeeling tea.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Six geese a-laying
Their golden eggs!
While the beanstalk grows
And Jack climbs
Up to where they lay
So to share with them cup of Pu-erh.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Seven swans a-swimming
’Round in a circle
In a clear pond!
Floating then to shore
Waddling up
To the grassy knoll
For a picnic with Gunpowder tea.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eight maids a-milking
Their gentle Jerseys,
Softly a-mooing
In the lamp light!
While the kettle boils
For the tea,
A fine Assam blend
That will go well with milk and sweet’ner.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Nine ladies dancing
In fancy dresses,
Wearing their big hats,
In the cool garden
Under starlight!
Boy, they make me tired
Just watching,
Need a cuppa tea,
Like a delicate white with jasmine.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Ten lords a-leaping
While music’s playing
Violins strumming
As they are prancing
Like Russian dancer
Baryshnikov!
“Nutcracker” ballet
Up on stage
Signals Christmastime
And a cinnamon-sprinkled black tea.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eleven pipers piping
Sounding like banshees
In Scots’ tradition
Wearing their plaid kilts,
Long socks and black shoes,
Jackets and dress shirts —
Looking so grand!
Marching all around,
They play on
While we sit and eat
And drink noisily from our teacups.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Twelve drummers drumming
While they are marching
Like a battalion,
Sounding like thunder
Louder and louder
’Til my poor head aches
And ears are ringing
Like Christmas bells!
Time to get away
To a spot
Where there is some peace
And enjoy green tea with that partridge!

It may not be as musical as the original, but at least tea has its proper place in this Christmas classic. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy a beautifully ripe pear from that pear tree with some of the partridge’s green tea. (Sounds like a healthier treat to leave for Santa than cookies and milk.)

Jolly good wishes to you all!

Have you heard? A.C.’s little yellow teapot has gone solo! He started his own blog, Little Yellow Teapot Tea Reviews, and has since been seen dining in upscale restaurants with young starlets!

Don’t worry, though, A.C. can still be found at Tea Time with A.C. Cargill. Stop by and pay ‘er a visit!

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