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Christmas Songs and the Memories They Spark


Memories from Christmas Songs and the Games

For us, putting on some Christmas songs and watching our kids and family follow the traditions of cooking food and baking cookies floods us with nostalgia. We thought a great way to spread some cheer and spark the joy in our readers hearts would be to share a game we made up when we were young and hopefully cause imitation.

When you grow up with friends from the neighborhood, cousins close by, pals from school all living within walking or short car rides from your house, you can imagine a ton of fun was to be had!! AND we did!! Bare minimum, it was our family of siblings (3). Like all kids, we loved when the radio would switch to Christmas songs, but nothing brought us and the gang of friends more joy than when we heard Little St. Nick by The Beach Boys.

Little St. Nick by The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys were a staple in our home all year round, so when a song would come on we were sure to hear everyone pitch in and sing, but with the Little St. Nick song, “we” the kids would line up and BE St. Nick and the reindeer. The first one to Stand up straight in the middle of the living room acting like they were holding reigns was Santa. The rest would line up in front as the reindeer. The best part is we would then be lead by Santa’s reigns all throughout the house. However standing in front of Santa with no real reigns, ropes, or leads can be problematic, and of course caused fits of laughter that were surely heard as far away as the North Pole.

How to Play Or Reindeer Game

Rule 1. You must SING (This can be hard between squeals, giggles, and all out belly laughs, but the singing can NOT stop.)

Rule 2. First one to the middle of the living room with hands held like you are holding reigns in Santa.

Rule 3. Everyone lines up in front of Santa. (As you get older you realize it is best to go oldest to youngest. We found the newer or younger you were to these antics the less likely you were to follow the reigns commands and “tell”the reindeer in front of you. reaction time is key!)

Rule 4. Put your hands on the shoulders in front of you. These will be the “reigns.”

Rule 5. You have until the words “It’s the Little St. Nick” is said the first time. That is go time. You need to be lined up and go!

signs to learn:

both hands on shoulders: move forward

tap: the tap keeps the pace of your feet

pull back: halt

take a hand off: turn

Rule 6. No shouting, whispering, or in any other way giving commands. Remember you are singing the whole time, and your “reigns” are the way you signal.

Rule 7. Only one hand can be off a shoulder at anytime. For example, if a hand is on your right shoulder and absent on your left, that means you are turning right. Almost as soon as you get the command you are also giving the command to your deer in front of you. IF both hands are removed then the sleigh crashes.

Honestly the sleigh crashed a lot, but like a game of Twister, when we were all in a pile up was probably the best. Over the years, we altered things, we weren’t beholden to the radio as we were gifted cassettes and later CDs, then we could press play randomly during days and evenings of holiday gatherings, but no matter how the game started our memories never let it end.

Let us know if you like our game and if you play, if you make changes, and how it  went. We hope you and your family have a joyous Christmas Season!