The Twelve Gifts of Christmas

Every year, PNC calculates what they call the Christmas Price Index.  Basically it is the amount of money it would cost to buy all of the gifts in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  This year, the total is $34,558.65.  That’s a 0.6% increase over last year.  If find the number interesting in a completely pointless way.  It’s not like I can afford $34,558.65.  But, even if I could, there isn’t anyone I dislike enough to give them all these gifts.

Six of the first seven gifts are birds.  That’s just insane.  First of all, you should never give a gift that will require a commitment from the receiver.  That’s just rude.  And look at the birds:  a partridge, two turtle doves, three French hens, four calling birds, six geese a laying and seven swans a swimming.  Birds in general are loud and dirty.  Imagine the mess and ruckus these would cause.  Turtle doves are basically pigeons.  Who besides Bert from Sesame Street would want a couple of pigeons?  Geese are about the most ill-tempered, nasty creatures I’ve ever been around.  I don’t have a lot of experience with swans, but I know them to be mean.  I wouldn’t wish this menagerie on my worst enemy.

Five gold rings are about the only things in the song that would make a reasonable gift.  It seems rather excessive to give five rings to one person, but if you know Mr. T, go for it.

Do they even have milkmaids anymore?  That’s just a bizarre gift.  And there are eight of them.  And you don’t get the cows, just the women who milk them.  Is there some kind of rental agreement with the cows?  How does this work?  Plus, milk is plentiful and fairly cheap.  A gift card to the grocery store would be a better gift.

Nine ladies dancing might be nice.  It would depend on the ladies and the type of dancing.  But I’m pretty sure there are laws against giving the ladies themselves as gifts.  Maybe this is tickets to see a dance company made up of nine ladies.  I guess that’ll work.

Ten lords a leaping is just confusing.  Are they literal lords?  (And were the ladies in the last one Ladies or ladies?)  It seems like it would be hard to find ten of them, especially that can do acrobatics.

Eleven pipers piping might be a decent gift.  Again, the pipers themselves are probably not the gift.  It’s probably tickets to see some kind of eleven member flute ensemble.  It’s probably not my cup of tea, nor anyone else’s, but free tickets are free tickets.

Twelve drummers drumming?  Of course, because the drum solos are everyone’s favorite part of a concert.  Maybe these last two are meant to go together.  It’s some kind of fife and drum corp.  But then why are they given separately?  No, I think this is a concert featuring twelve drummers and nothing else.

That’s quite a pile of garbage for nearly $35,000.  I’d like to think that if I had that kind of money to spend on gifts, I would make better choices.  And if any of my friends or relatives are secretly wealthy and thinking about giving the package to me, please think again.  There’s not nearly enough room in my house.

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