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12 Days of Christmas problem

Updated: Oct 31, 2021

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

How many gifts did the true love send in total?

This is a great problem to solve as it combines music, literacy and maths!

Listen to the song here. It's a popular British carol sung in Britain at Christmas time. Have you heard it yet? It's quite fun to sing. You can play it on the violin using the sheet music from here or try singing it in the car if you're going on a long journey.

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a 'partridge in a pear tree' (which we will treat as one gift); he also sent me one on the second, third, and in fact all twelve days of Christmas.


Day 1 - 1 partridge

Day 2 - 1 partridge

Day 3 - 1 partridge

Day 4 - 1 partridge

Day 5 - 1 partridge

Day 6 - 1 partridge

Day 7 - 1 partridge

Day 8 - 1 partridge

Day 9 - 1 partridge

Day 10 - 1 partridge

Day 11 - 1 partridge

Day 12 - 1 partridge

So altogether he sent me 12 partridges (in pear trees).

What about the turtle doves? Continue with all the gifts...Don't forget to show your working out (how you got your answer)!

Check the HL Tutoring Services blog for the answer to the 12 Days of Christmas maths problem.

You can book private tuition in English (including adult English as a foreign language), primary maths or violin here; alternatively, get in touch for further information.

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