“On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree…” Sing along, you know the words! Twelve Days of Christmas is a classic cumulative song that has been enjoyed for centuries.
The song delivers many gifts such as, turtle doves, French hens, drummers drumming, swans-a-swimming, but none are your typical presents, at least not in this day and age. Still, we keep on singing the fun lyrics, which alone bring about the warm feeling of Christmas spirit.
Stephanie Jarstad is a Seattle-based freelance photographer who decided to incorporate The Twelve Days Of Christmas song into a photo project that promotes men’s health and brings awareness to prostate cancer. And so the Twelve Beards Of Christmas came to life, featuring bearded men with an extra special holiday glow!
Check out the twelve beards of Christmas here and learn a little more about the photographer, as well as the classic song.
If you are looking for a fun holiday gift idea, Stephanie sells prints of her work on coffee mugs, Christmas cards, posters, and more on Etsy.com.
Stephanie has always loved photography and people, and so she has transformed her passions into a career. On her website bio she shares that while growing up she would purchase a new disposable camera once a month and plan regular photo shoots with her best friends.
When she entered high school you couldn’t pull her out of the darkroom, and nothing changed in college. Now, Stephanie works as a freelance photographer, and is open to all sorts of projects, both local and around the world. She writes on her website, “I’d love to tell your story with my camera that has become an extension of my arm.”
The Twelve Days of Christmas is a classic English Christmas carol that children and adults have been signing for hundreds of years. The song was originally composed back in 1780 without music, said as a chant or rhyme, and is believed to be French in origin.
The rhyme was first published in a small book for children titled, Mirth without Mischief. The song was included as a game where one leader would recite a verse and then each of the players would have to repeat it. The person that messed up a verse would have to forfeit something, such as a candy or a kiss.
The song is not always the same, in different parts of the world there are different gifts, and versus. For instance, in England’s northern counties the song has been called, “Ten Days of Christmas.” Some versions include an alternate list of gifts that can be quite the tongue twister to say.
While the gifts may seem rather random, they each represent a deeper meaning. According to The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, the gifts each represent a different food or sport for each month of the year.
The tune we now associate with the festive song comes from a 1909 traditional folk melody by Frederic Austin, an English composer. It was Austin that introduced the famous line, “five gold rings.”
Austin also added the word “on” to each verse, before it was stated, “The first day of Christmas…” He also changed an old verse from “colly birds” to “calling birds,” and reordered the final four verses.
If you like looking at unique beards, check out 10 of the fanciest entries from the World Beard and Mustache Championships 2014.
Don’t forget to check out Stephanie’s Decembeard merchandise at Etsy.com!
Instead of holiday tinsel and gold birds, check out another trend in men beards: men with flowers in their beards.