The Hidden Religious Message in The Little Drummer Boy

Updated on December 20, 2016
Becca Linn profile image

I'm passionate about seeking out light and goodness in the world wherever I can find it, and when I find it, I love to share it with others.

Source

The Story of the Little Drummer Boy

Ever since I was little, I have loved The Little Drummer Boy. I remember hearing it on the radio at a young age and deciding that it was my favorite Christmas song.

This decision had nothing to do with the message of the song and everything to do with it's beautiful melody.

As I grew up I learned to appreciate this song's beautiful and inspiring message just as much as it's catchy tune.

The Little Drummer Boy is such a tender story about a boy giving what he can even if it's a meager offering.

The lyrics are as follows (I'm going to leave out all the rum pum pum pums to keep more focus on the story though):

Come they told me,
A new born king to see.
Our finest gifts we bring,
to lay before the king,
So to honor him 
when we come.

Little baby,
I am a poor boy too.
I have no gift to bring
that's fit to give the king.
Shall I play for you
on my drum?

Mary nodded.
The ox and lamb kept time.
I played my drum for him.
I played my best for him.
Then He smiled at me,
me and my drum.

To summarize, a little boy is told to go see the new born king (Jesus Christ), and is told that others are bringing gifts to honor the baby. The boy confesses that he is poor and doesn't have anything to give, so he offers to play his drum. His offer is accepted by the king's mom. The boy plays the best he can, and the infant king smiles at him.

The Obvious Message: Christmas Is About Giving What You Can

The obvious message in this song is the lesson that many of us have been taught from a young age that giving is better than receiving.

This song is a beautiful reminder to me that even if my offering is humble, I should give what I can to my Savior.

He knew that he didn't have much, but he gave what he could. Certainly I can do that too.

I think it's important to note that the boy didn't give Jesus his drum; he gave him a song. In other words he shared his talents.

We don't always have to give material gifts. We can give of ourselves whether it be through sharing our talents, our time, or just our love.

Matthew 25:40 teaches us that as we serve our fellow men, we are also serving our Heavenly King, Jesus Christ.

This made it easy for me to make the connection that I should give what I can wherever I can and it will be the same as giving to my Savior.

The Christmas season is a time to focus on what we can give to others rather than focusing on what we will be getting.

Wait? Is There Another Message Here That I've Been Missing?

It's likely that many of you learned this lesson from the Little Drummer Boy decades ago, but it literally wasn't until this morning that I realized there was another very important lesson this song was trying to teach me.

This song is not just about giving. In fact, as much as I love the example of the little boy who gave all that he could to his Savior, this morning it was the lesson the infant king teaches in this song that really touched my heart.

If you don't remember what lesson the infant king taught, I'll refresh your memory. He smiled at the little boy. The baby's actions were only mentioned in one line of the song, so it's easy to overlook, but worth paying attention to in my opinion.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example, and while this song is fictional, I think the portrayal of him smiling at the gift that he received is fairly true to life.

I imagine that if a child played a song for our Savior, our Savior would offer a genuine smile and would sincerely express his gratitude in a way that I can't even put into words.

In fact, I think no matter what measly offering I have for my Savior, He will smile and graciously accept it with sincere gratitude.

So, could this song be teaching us about how important it is to be humble and grateful recipients of the gifts we receive?

I think it absolutely is!

While it is important to be a generous giver, the infant king in this song teaches us that it is just as important to be a gracious receiver.

Sometimes this is a struggle for me, and I'm assuming that if it's a challenge for me, it's likely a challenge for a few other people too.

Do you ever find it difficult to receive gifts?

See results

A New Twist on Our Favorite Christmas Song

True Confessions: I've Dreaded Receiving Gifts In the Past

This is probably going to make me sound like a horrible person, but I'm guessing I'm not the only one who's felt this way, so I'm going to allow myself to be vulnerable in hopes that it might help someone else make a personal application of this lesson.

I'm pretty good at giving gifts. I love trying to find perfect gifts for the people I love.

Being on the receiving end of the gifts is a totally different story though.

You see, I kind of hate clutter, and if a gift isn't something that I really want, it just becomes clutter in my house, which I don't like.

There have literally been times that I've opened a gift and felt annoyed when I saw what it was, because I knew it was going to be another thing to take up space in my house or more likely another thing for me to donate to a charity or try to regift.

See, I told you it sounds pretty terrible.

I love the people that give me the gifts, and of course I've always smiled and said thank you acting like I loved whatever I received, but in the past, that's made me dread receiving gifts even more.

You see, I'm not a liar in most situations, but I felt like I had to pretend to love every gift that I got, which makes me well...a liar. I hate that feeling!

As you can see I've had a major problem with receiving gifts in the past, but all that changed this morning when I learned the hidden lesson from The Little Drummer Boy.

Source

Excited to Receive Gifts With a Brand New Perspective

I'm so grateful that The Little Drummer Boy inspired this epiphany when it did.

My family is celebrating Christmas a little early this year in order to be able to have all of my siblings in the same place at the same time, and instead of fearing the possibility that I might not get the "perfect gift" from every single person, I'm excited to follow my Savior's example by graciously receiving their love in the form of whatever gifts they have chosen for me.

No matter what a person gives me, it will be "the perfect gift."

I'm already grateful for the gifts I'm receiving. I might not know exactly what they are in the physical aspect, but in the emotional and spiritual aspect, they represent love, and that's the best gift that anybody could give.

It's a gift worthy of my heavenly king and certainly worthy of me.

I've always known that the gifts I received were a representation of people's love, but I was so petty worrying about clutter that sometimes I let little things get in the way of my enjoyment of the beautiful tradition of opening gifts.

I don't feel that way any more.

I will follow my Savior's example by graciously receiving every gift that is offered, and I will be able to sincerely smile and honestly thank the gift givers for every present that I receive this year.

Yes, it's good to be a joyful giver, but it's equally important to be a gracious receiver, and that is the message that I learned from The Little Drummer Boy this morning.


Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Becca Linn profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca Young 

        13 months ago from Renton, WA

        Thanks Rachel! You're so kind. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

      • Rachel L Alba profile image

        Rachel L Alba 

        13 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

        Hi Becca, I don't know how I missed this lovely article you posted before. You are such a thoughtful person, obviously and lovely in spirit. I too always liked this song, but will more so after reading your thoughts on it. Thank you for that.

        Blessings to you.

      • Becca Linn profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca Young 

        22 months ago from Renton, WA

        I know I will never listen to that song in quite the same way again. I'm so grateful for what it has taught me.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        22 months ago from The Caribbean

        Two beautiful messages! I will forever remember them when I hear this lovely Christmas carol.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, holidappy.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://holidappy.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)