What do seasonal songs have to with your communication skills? Holiday stress leads to short tempers. Short tempers lead to discord, and I don’t mean the musical kind. We’re talking spats and even full blown arguments with that “difficult” aunt or uncle you can’t avoid.

But the plethora of upbeat seasonal songs—from fun to glorious to serene—boosts our spirits. Good spirits facilitate your communication skills, heading off disagreements and resolving them in a civilized manner when they do occur.

Here are some fun facts to make holiday music even more memorable:

  • “The Christmas Song,” which begins with the lyrics, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” was written on one of the hottest days then on record in California.
  • “Jingle Bells,” which doesn’t mention Christmas, was actually written and first performed for Thanksgiving. People of any faith, or none at all, can enjoy this cheerful tune.
  • And speaking of “Jingle Bells,” the lyrics are not “Bells on bobtails” (plural) but rather, “Bells on bobtail” (singular). It’s a one horse sleigh, and the one horse only has one tail.
  • Here’s another deviation from original lyrics, this time in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It’s so common, you even see it in printed music. “Four calling birds” was originally “four colly birds.” “Colly bird” is an old-fashioned term for a black bird. When you think about it, that’s a better fit with the rest of the lyrics. All the other birds are denoted by type —partridge, turtle doves, French hens, not by what they are doing, e.g. calling.

Here’s hoping these fun facts inspire you to sing or listen to whatever music lifts your spirits, creating harmony (of the non-musical variety) among your family and friends.

And as for that “difficult” aunt or uncle, how about a gift of my  book  Love on the Rocks with a Twist—Delightful Fiction with Lessons on Dealing with Others?