Reflections on the Little Drummer Boy

A drummer boy plays for bystanders in a market.

By Angela Noel

December 21, 2017

I begin to feel the holiday spirit the first time I hear “The Little Drummer Boy” each year. This song, written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941, helps me sight the essence of what I believe is my–maybe everyone’s–purpose here on this planet.

Let me explain.

My interpretation of the little drummer kid is this:

He hears about this amazing event, the birth of this really cool baby. Everyone the little boy knows is bringing gifts to honor him, like gold and silver, but he doesn’t have any of those things. (And really, what would a baby do with gold anyway?) The boy does, however, have this one thing. And though he’s not sure he should offer it, not sure if it’ll be enough, he has the courage to do it anyway. After all, he wants to give the very best he has to celebrate this awesome, shiny new person.

So he plays his little heart out on that drum.

And that, I think, is my purpose: to honor the divine spirit, the great birth of goodness and light in all of us, by offering the best in myself to others.



May 2018 be the year you discover, invest in, and offer the best of your unique self to the world.

Featured Photo Credit: Darrell Miller licensed under creative commons.

Your turn: Do you have a favorite song for the holidays? What do you want to invest in this new year?


Author: Angela Noel

On a quest to become a better human, I write about parenting, leadership, and personal development. I tell my stories so you can find your own.

31 thoughts on “Reflections on the Little Drummer Boy”

  1. How funny, well you know my favourite Christmas song is this very one here. The Bing & Bowie version. Next year I want to invest in writing more. As if in proper writing. I’m thinking scripts more than novels though. We shall see…

  2. i haven’t come across Pentatonix before, but that’s a great version. My favourite version is by Bowie and Crosby. It shouldn’t have worked, but it did and it was great.

    1. It was a toss up between the Bowie and Crosby for me too! I liked the diversity of voices in the Pentatonic version a little better. Glad you found a new thing to like!

  3. Thought provoking post Angela. What your photo reminded me of was New Orleans, and many other places where the use of non-traditional items to produce music is played. Love it, and don’t you hope that this moment will inspire this young lad to achieve his full potential in life! Happy Holidays!

  4. I get the chills every time I hear the Little Drummer Boy. It always warms my heart when I hear of those who have so little, but they still make a point to give. That’s the true essence of the Christmas spirit, to me.

  5. I think drumming would scare the crap out of a newborn, This reminds me of the Friends episode where Joey doesn’t bring a gift to a baby shower, but instead picks up a book someone else gave to the couple and “reads the baby a story.” His gift is a hit. The one that’s truly cherished. i think we all understand that there are so many things better than *stuff* but we instinctively come back to stuff as a gift because the value is stamped right on the package.

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