Let’s face it, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is some 1% bullshit. Do you have any idea how much it costs to buy all that stuff? Well, the wonderful nerds at PNC bank figure it out every year, and this year’s grand total is $101,119.84, a new record. Damn. Of course, part of this is due to just how many gifts are involved. Remember, it’s not like you just get a partridge in a pear tree on day one; nope, you’re getting a dozen. I hope you have a big yard! By the time Epiphany rolls around on January 6*, your haul actually consists of:
- 12 Drummers Drumming (at $2629.90 per 12)
- 22 Pipers Piping (at $2427.60 per 11)
- 30 Lords-a-Leaping (at $4766.70 per 10)
- 36 Ladies Dancing (at $6294.03 per 9)
- 40 Maids-a-Milking (at $58.00 per 8)
- 42 Swans-a-Swimming (at $6300.00 per 7)
- 42 Geese-a-Laying (at $162.00 per 6)
- 40 Golden Rings (at $645.00 per 5)
- 36 Colly Birds** (at $519.96 per 4)
- 30 French Hens (at $150.00 per 3)
- 22 Turtle doves (at $125.00 a pair)
- and 12 Partridges in pear trees (at $184.99 each; $15 for the partridge and $169.99 for the tree)
That’s 364 presents, including 184 birds and 140 people (which isn’t at all creepy). The golden rings would be nice, but 40 of them is a bit excessive. If you’re on a budget, maybe just get one set of each gift, for a total of $24,263.18. Still too rich for your blood? Fine, just get a single partridge or a set of milkmaids (who are getting seriously underpaid compared to the rest). Or screw the list, how about a lovely gift card instead? I think that would be best.
*Contrary to popular belief, the 12 days of Christmas actually start on December 25 and run through January 5, also known as Twelfth Night. Different Christian traditions have different ways of celebrating the holidays of this period. The days before Christmas are known as Advent, which technically starts four Sundays before Christmas, although most people who celebrate it just start on December 1. It’s a lot easier to mass-market Advent calendars if it’s the same number of days every year.
**Colly birds? I always thought it was calling birds, but if Wikipedia is to be believed, it’s actually a nickname for blackbirds. The more you know!