I love Christmas music as much as anyone, but I’m getting slightly annoyed by the world’s obsession with “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Sure, it’s a catchy tune, with its repetitive countdown of strange items that I could never figure out as a kid, but now it seems that no one can leave it alone. The song keeps getting hauled out of the past and assessed for its relevance and applicability to modern life, which seems pointless, not to mention excessive. The focus is always on possessing or consuming “The 12 Days of Christmas” in any way possible – how much it would cost, what effect it would have on our bodies, how to make it happen.
First, there’s the annual Christmas Price Index. For the past thirty years, the CPI has tallied up what each gift would cost in the present day. The total price tag for 2013 is a whopping $114,651 USD -- and hiring the services of nine dancing ladies is the most expensive of all.
Next, I read an article about the health consequences of eating “The 12 Days of Christmas.” A writer for The Atlantic assumes that all the birds cited in the first seven days are to be cooked and eaten, followed by five days of exercise to burn off the meat-intensive celebrations. The final number of estimated calories you’d end up with is 2,384, which actually isn’t bad compared to the usual 4,500 calories for a typical American Christmas dinner. Still, that’s an awful lot of meat.
Then I discovered a farm in the U.K. that sells a “Massive 12 Bird True Love Roast,” inspired by “The 12 Days of Christmas.” For only $1,096 USD, you can buy this gigantic turkey that is stuffed with 12 different kinds of land and water fowl, chock full of gourmet stuffing. It feeds 125 people, takes 10 hours to cook, and requires 2 people to lift – but, hey, delivery is free in the U.K. and it comes with its own roasting pan.
There’s enough unnecessary consumption going on during the holiday season that I’d prefer not to hear how “The 12 Days of Christmas” can also be mine, if I spend enough money or eat enough roast fowl. I propose we leave this song in the past where it belongs, relevant to life in a quaint, eighteenth-century English village.