Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas? Who on earth’d want this much stuff?

Well, PNC’s annual Christmas price index is out, and the cost of one set of each of the fab gifts mentioned in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” – maids a-milking, swans-a-swimming, geese-a-laying and all – will set your true love back $25,431.18, up 4.8% over 2011.

And if your true love decides to go full tilt, and buy the requisite number of gifts each day, so that you end up with twelve, count ‘em, twelve partridges in a pear tree, the full cost is $107,300.24, a jump of 6.1% over last year.

(More if you shop online, by the way, to the tune of $15K more for the low-end package.  The cost of shipping all those birds…So much for the glories of Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday.)

The big inflationary culprits?

Not surprisingly, with the world as we know if coming to an end because of the Mayan calendar and/or the election results, those gold rings have gone up in price, skyrocketing 16.3% over 2011.

Swans, up 11.1, and now costing a cool $1K per. Yes, they’re beautiful and all, but swans in real life are rather nasty. So I’d just as soon not have my own, thank you. If I want to take a gander at swans, I just have to cross the street to the Boston Public Garden, where I can see both real swans and swan boats.

Big year for fowl inflation, by the way: French hens are up 10%.

Pipers and drummers are up, too, by 5.5%. Good news for musicians, but not so good news for dancers. The cost of ladies dancing and lords a-leaping stayed flat. As did the unskilled labor provided by maids a-milking, who labor for the udderly pathetic minimum wage.

Someone out there may want to order up those leaping lords, but for the most part, no one would want any of this stuff. Other than those 5 gold rings, of course.

And if they’re puttin’ a ring on it, you’d definitely want the full largesse of eight days worth of five golden rings, for a total of 40.

But the question is, since I have neither the interest in nor the room for the full 12 days monty, what might I be hoping for if I were going to get a gifts for 12 days.

The first thing that came to mind for wanting 12 of was books, but now that I’m a library-phile, I don’t fell the need to be buying books all the time. So, I’d go for 12 CD’s.

Yes, I know, all music is digitized and played on an i-something (or which I at least have the minimum configuration: an iPod), but I still like to play my CD’s. (I see that Nancy Griffith has 2012 new CD. That’d be on the list.)

I’m always looking for pens, so how about 11 pens to usher in the new year? I’m not fussy, but it would be nice if they were one step above the 4-packs I get at Staples.

Those pens should be followed by 10 pads o’ paper. Then I’d slip 9 books in there. (Starting with Alice Munro’s new collection.)

Eight? Give me eight interesting sweaters. I haven’t really added much to my sweater set since I stopped working full time and could no long justify paying $400 for a really cool sweater that someone in Peru got paid $4 to knit for me. (And if you don’t think that any sweater on earth is worth that much, I will tell you that I have a number of sweaters that I’ve had for over twenty years. One of my all time favorites remains a fabulous one I got myself for my 40th birthday. My definite cold day go-to.)

While I’m on a clothing kick, how about seven pairs of interesting socks (in long). I have long enjoyed wearing patterned socks, but the one downside has always been that the big toes on my elongating foot – I’m now a 10 1/2 – poke a hole through socks after a few wearings. Then I discovered Cambridge Clogs. To hell with the clogs (which I don’t think come in narrows, the one narrow part of me being my feet). This store has an entirely awesome collection of socks – I am wearing a nifty blue-striped pair as I type – and many of them come in long. So what if they cost $20 a pair? As with the $400 sweater, if they last…

I used to like cool earrings, too. (Whatever happened to me, sitting her in my Macy’s studs?)   So six pairs of them.

I have never stopped being a scarf lady. Even if the dead of summer, I rarely go out of the house without a scarf if not on, then on hand, in case I need it for A/C.  I can always scarf down a new scarf.

Four decent suits might be overkill. Back in the day, when women had to don that particular apparel every day, I always had at least five. These days, I don’t have to dress up that often. But I am already getting sick of the black pants suit I got at Nordstrom’s last spring. A black or navy skirt suit might be good for a change. (Do I even remember how to put on panty hose?) A navy pants suit. Dark charcoal. Something else. Surprise me! Would plaid make me look like Professor Harold Hill?

Three something-or-others. This making a list thing is harder than it looks. I’m actually nibbling my cuticles over it. Eureka! I could use a manicure and pedicure right now, and I’m sure I’ll feel the same way at least twice more over the winter.

Two tablets sounds greedy, I know. But I really do need to get on the iPad bandwagon, as everybody I know seems to be sending me e-mail messages from them. But I’d also like to try a Windows Surface.

Really, the only thing I actually do want is an extra long trip to Paris. Although the trip won’t be extra long, we are scheduled for seven days in May, bracketed by a couple of days in Ireland. Kinehora!

So, here’s what I’d be getting on those twelve day of Christmas, if I were the getting kind (and if you are the sing-along kind, fell free to sing along):

Twelve CD’s playing
Eleven pens for writing
Ten pads of paper
Nine books worth reading
Eight funky sweaters
Seven pairs of cool socks
Six pairs of earrings
Five great new scarves
Four decent suits
Three mani-pedis
Two ta-ha-blets
And one extra long trip to Paree

That’s all I ask… (Oh, yeah, and no going over the fiscal cliff. And world peace. And all that good stuff.)

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