Everyone knows the words to "The 12 Days of Christmas," although I must admit they mystify me in places. Who would really want 10 lords a'leaping for Christmas?

So here's an idea: Let's update the list to make it relevant today and give gifts that strengthen our marriages and family.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a zipper: It's usually wiser to keep your lip zipped than to compound a problem. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a calculator: This is a special calculator, with the cancel key prominently placed in the center of the pad, conveniently twice the size of all the other keys so it is easy to cancel accounts instead of keeping score. [Love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5).

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a duffel bag: This model has two handles, one on each side so the load is lighter for both of us. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a ballerina doll: Nothing epitomizes grace and balance like a ballerina, and a good wife even more so. A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. . . . She is clothed with strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:10,25).

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a shovel: This is a Smokey Bear shovel so we can put out sparks before they become raging fires. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27).

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a pocket watch: This timepiece is carried in a breast pocket, close to the heart, so we can remember to give each other time to grow. It was he who gave . . . to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a Monopoly game: You can own houses on every street, but you're still poor without a good wife. Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord (Proverbs 19:14).

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a candle and sealing wax: Do not neglect to keep the fires burning or to seal your love for each other. Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. (Song of Songs 8:6)

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me some super glue: Tearing apart two things joined by super glue results in damage to both. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" (Matthew 19:6).

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a spice jar: That way, we can season our words with grace, encouragement and love. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a wash cloth: This cloth has God's Word embroidered on it. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word (Ephesians 5:25-26).

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a turtle dove: Well, maybe they were on to something when they wrote the original version. How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves (Song of Songs