Monday, November 30, 2009

is eight or nine milking maids

Easy to get confused between dancing ladies and milking maids.  I mean they are different people right?  Do you realize there are 50 people performing in this drawn out gift event?  By the time the performers start showing up you are going to need a hall and plan on feeding them.

Those 12 days of Christmas!

Well the smart people over at PNC bank not only know those answers but have been tracking this gift for 26 years.
from the PNC press release:
Declines in the cost of birds in the index were a major factor in the moderate increase. The Partridge in a Pear Tree is down 27.3 percent to $159.99. The partridge came in 50 percent below last year at $10.00 and the pear tree is $149.99, off 25 percent. Also, the Six Geese-a-Laying are down a sizable 37.5 percent to $150.00.
The cost of the Four Calling Birds was even with last year at $599.96. The only birds to increase in price were the Two Turtle Doves, which rose a paltry 1.8 percent to $55.98, and the Three French Hens, flying up 50 percent to $45.00; the largest percentage increase in this year's index.

Enough gold rings already




http://www.flickr.com/photos/babasteve/ / CC BY 2.0

I thought I caught a mistake in their PR when I spotted the total gift count at 364.  If you add 1 + 2 + .... + 12 you get 78.  But I misunderstood the lyrics!!  Her true love (very wealthy true love) repeats the previous gifts from the earlier days with each new day.  That adds up to 364 gifts.  Then I started wondering if a partridge in a pear tree counts as two (it doesn't but it would for me).  Can't buy me love - who are you kidding!  The grand total is coming in at $87,402.81.  Leaping lords indeed.
But don't go cyber shopping for these gifts!  Shipping cost will kill you.  Shipping live birds cost more than the birds. 
The most interesting item on the true love's Christmas list was those swans-a-swimming, $5250.  Very expensive but they cost even more back in the 80's and early 90's.  Swan prices plummeted in 1995 because of an increase in breeding (guess word got out).  Why so expensive?  It's not like you need to train swans to swim.  Had I known this high value of swans I might have tempted to grab the babies following their mom around in the office park pond where I worked once.  I could've paid for Christmas.
Now is the little drummer boy part of the 12 Drummers Drumming because if so at least you could get an extra song out of the deal.  Unless you're a dairy farmer what would you do with eight maids-a-milking?  Good thing the gift registry wasn't invented when this song was written.

Oh in addition to the wealth of cost info on leaping lords and turtle doves, the PNC site has a fun video to watch.
 
Also, over at Howstuffworks site they have a downloadable game about the song.
Bloomberg report on 12 days of Christmas index.


4 comments:

Debbie said...

I will admit that song drives me nuts! It's like the Energizer Bunny and just keeps going...

yorksnbeans said...

I'm freaked out by the necklaces!

lisleman said...

@debbie - well then you probably don't like the "green grass grows all around" song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiYbUfW8Mhk

@yorksnbeans - do you think they get sore necks?

lisleman said...

@debbie - well then you probably don't like the "green grass grows all around" song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiYbUfW8Mhk

@yorksnbeans - do you think they get sore necks?

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