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The Twelve Days of ADHD, A Christmas Carol Just For Us

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent 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!

You all know the song I’m sure. You’ll at least know the melody, if not all the words. Each line has a religious significance that I’m not going to bother itemizing here. It isn’t that I fear being politically incorrect, it’s just that I blog about ADHD, not faith or religion.

So what’s the twelve days of ADHD?

It occurred to me recently, that our lives are so fraught with manifestations of our ADHDishness, our symptoms, that we ought to have a holiday song all our own.

Having written the odd song that I’m rather proud of I took it upon myself to do just that, but I had trouble coming up with lyrics.

What’s in a name?

Titles were easy, I had brilliant ideas like “Who Hung my Car Keys on the Christmas Tree?” and “Next Year I’ll Write Down Who’s House We’re Going To.” But I just couldn’t figure out any good rhymes once I’d used ‘attention’ and ‘distraction.’ I mean, what rhymes with ‘executive function?’ ‘Decrepit compunction?’

So I decided to do what I did when, while writing under the name of Taylor McKinlay, I made up a lexicon for us. Yep, I stole something and modified it.

So here’s my description of the lyrics

The Twelve Days of ADHD:

Twelve fingers drumming – This would be two or more ADHDers trying to listen quietly and without interrupting.

Eleven misplaced gift cards – I buy gift cards from the local donut shop for the mailman, the paper girl, the kid down the street who shovels my lawn where he thinks my walkway is. I buy them, and then I use them myself in the spring when (if) I find them.

Ten ADDers leaping – There must be a dance we could go to somewhere, right?

Nine inappropriate comments – Don’t ask. I’m sure if I try to explain, it will become ten inappropriate comments and then I’ll just have to start all over again. #%&@*!

Eight un-mailed Christmas cards – I’m getting smart in my old age, I never put the year on them anymore, someday I’m going to find my stash of them in late November and just dump them into the post box. I hope the postage doesn’t go up.

Seven temper tantrums – My usual defense mechanism when I’m accused of misplacing gift cards and making inappropriate comments.

Six good stiff drinks – If you’re going to self medicate this is the time for it, right? Have one for me won’t you, you know my circumstances.

Five misplaced things – (Don’t forget to drag this out … while you’re singing it I mean, I know you’ll be forever trying to find the stuff) Careful, we’ll end up with more than just seven temper tantrums …

Four moldy cheese balls – This was not my fault, they went that way in the stairwell where I left them instead of putting them into the fridge. Yeah, okay, kinda my fault. But I honestly thought there was no real food in them.

Three missing presents – I bought them. I wrapped them. I put them someplace safe where they wouldn’t be found, apparently not even by me.

Two gifts without tags – I’ve unwrapped these things four times to see what they were and who they were for. I know I wrote it down somewhere.

And a … was that a squirrel in our Christmas tree? – Okay, you’re right, that was a cheap shot. I tried to get you a partridge in a pear tree, but the squirrels distracted me. And they are found in trees.

So here’s what we got

So here it is, just the last verse, though. You can figure out the whole song from that, right?
The Twelve Days of ADHD, A Christmas Carol Just For Us

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
12 fingers drumming
11 misplaced gift cards
10 ADDers leaping
9 inappropriate comments
8 unmailed Christmas cards
7 temper tantrums
6 good stiff drinks
5 misplaced things
4 mouldy cheese balls
3 missing presents
2 gifts with out tags
And a squirrel in our Christmas tree!

The Twelve Days of ADHD, A Christmas Carol Just For Us

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2011). The Twelve Days of ADHD, A Christmas Carol Just For Us. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Dec 2011
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