Twelve Days of Going Broke



I just finished listening to a traditional Holiday song called “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It’s an English Christmas carol, thought to be of French origin, that was first published in 1720. It is a cumulative song, each verse building on top of the previous ones, as it enumerates a series of increasingly grand gifts, given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. It should be noted for historical accuracy, that the gifts should only be given to ones “true love.” Imparting these varied, unusual, and expensive presents on an ex-wife or partner, the friendly waitress at the local diner, the person who rocked your world at the club last weekend, or that cute guy or girl you ran into at the apartment laundry room, will make you feel like the time, you escorted your second cousin Erma to the senior prom. You not only were completely broke afterward, but that good night kiss on the check was an anticlimactic end to a magical evening.


I was wondering about the astronomical cost of buying the twelve gifts listed in the song. For only one verse, the total cost this year is $34,558.65. The good news is that the price has increased only .6% from that of 2016. If you were wondering; the total gifts received by one’s true love in the entire song is 364. To procure this amount, would set you back little bit more than two and a half million dollars. I shouldn’t be telling you this, so as not to ruin the surprise, but I heard this is Kanye’s Christmas gift to Kim this year. We may even have a new reality show next year called, “Keeping up with the Kardashians as they pick pears, dance with ladies, chase birds, and try to catch quick, and extremely slippery lords.”


Maybe, I should take a little time, and have a closer look at the gifts from the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Have any of you ever received a partridge in a pear tree for Christmas? If you did, was your partridge super-glued to one of the branches. If you didn’t know, a partridge is a small, ground-dwelling bird that hates heights, and would never perch in a pear tree. The next three are very similar. They are: two turtle doves, three French hens, and four calling birds. If you received these first four gifts in their entirety, do you know what you would have? If you guessed an orchard, a bird sanctuary and two tons of extremely smelly fertilizer, you would be right. Oh, I almost forgot. If you want your calling birds, trained in the proper use of the latest Apple iPhone – it will cost you a few thousand dollars more.


If you make it to the “five – golden – rings,” you better cash in your 401K’s for some extra cash. Gold is currently $1245.00 an ounce, you’re already spending five hundred dollars a week on bird food, and you still have thirty-five more gold rings to buy. Besides rap or hip-hop videos, the MTV music awards, or the Grammys, do you ever see anyone wearing five or more gold rings? The next two days gifts involve more birds. You have six geese a laying, and seven swans a swimming. Besides having to buy more shovels to clean up geese and swan poop, you’ll need a pond for the swans. The good news is, if you buy seven swans a floating – you can get them for half price.


This next gift of maids a milking for the eighth day of Christmas, is a little confusing to me. First of all; do the cows come with the maids, or do you have to buy them, at a cost of between $900.00 and $3,000.00, depending on their size, and milk production? More importantly; if the maids are out milking cows, who’s making the beds, fluffing up the pillows, and putting out clean towels at my local Motel 6? Do you think the maids are milking cows on the side to supplement their income, and I have to share my bed with a 1300-pound bovine?


These next two gifts, are probably, not only the most unique gifts, but the most expensive as well. They also bring up some serious questions. What type of dancing do the nine women do? This is a family friendly blog, and we can’t have them doing risqué dance routines, while scantily clad. Will they dance with the ten leaping lords? What about the one extra lord? I’m not going to dance with him. What if all the ladies dancing, enjoy slow dances, but the lords just keep leaping all over the place, and ruining my furniture? Now that Prince William is married, and Harry’s engaged, do we have enough available lords? What if one or more of the lords, performs a particularly spectacular leap, and pulls a hamstring? Do I have to replace him? Can I hop, instead of leaping? I’m not as young as I once was. I know, all this sounds a little crazy, but I’ve spent almost thirty-five thousand dollars for these gifts, and I want my wife to have a memorable Christmas.


The last two gifts, are eleven pipers piping, and twelve drummers drumming. I hate my next-door neighbors. Do you think I could have my musical ensemble perform at 2:00 am on their front lawn? Do you think it would mess things up, if I replaced the pipers with elevens dudes with electric guitars, and replace one of the drummers with an awesome lead vocalist? Before I forget. What do you think it will cost for wrapping paper, and tape, before I place the twelve gifts under my tree?


Before I move on to another Christmas themed, simple observation of everyday life; I have a question. Do you ever wonder if there are women out there who actually ask for “The Twelve Days of Christmas” as a Holiday gift? Imagine a young couple as they snuggle in front of a roaring fire. As they hold each other close, the flames dance among the logs with a heat as intense as their love. In the background an old-time rendition of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” is softly playing. Not only have they been blessed with finding their soul mates, but they have possibly found their life partner’s as well. The young man has worked hard all year. He has saved every penny to possibly purchase a diamond engagement ring to seal the bond they’ve formed over the past year. In a moment of magic in which time appears to stand still, his love leans over and softly whispers her Christmas request into his ear. “What did you just say? I better not be hearing what I think I heard,” he exclaims. “I hope I didn’t just hear you say you want “The Twelve Days of Christmas?” Kind of ruins the mood, doesn’t it?

About Patrick Dykie

I'm a simple, middle class family man, living a quiet life in eastern Pennsylvania with my wife, Barbara. After many years in the construction field, I decided to take a chance at becoming a published author. I love to write, humor-filled narratives about people, places, things, animals, and popular culture that we see in our everyday lives. I'm working on the final proofs for my first book called, Simple Observations. I changed my Gravatar to a picture of the cover of the book. I hope you find it interesting. Simple Observations - a Humorous Look at the Absurdity of the World Around Us, should be available by the end of February. You can access my authors site at my website, or go to to view a few snippets from my upcoming book. I'm currently working on a second book, which I hope to have out before the end of 2018. I hope you enjoy your visit. Any comments are greatly appreciated.
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11 Responses to Twelve Days of Going Broke

  1. Jennie says:

    I love this, Patrick!!


  2. Garfield Hug says:

    Lol!! 😂😂😂I laughed so hard! The whole economic truth broken down in 12 days.


  3. Lisa says:

    This is hilarious. And expensive. Have to ask though – what makes you assume those maids are milking cows? Isn’t it simply ‘maids a’milking’? (Testing my memory here) Maybe they could be milking something smaller and cheaper, like…almonds?


  4. Brilliant Patrick and since we have a NMBO policy now (No more b—y ornaments) and are decluttering, there would be no room for the cows, maids or lords.. excellent thanks.


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