WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --         Christmas is truly a time of wonder and amazement for Christians around the globe. Of course most know in a biblical sense there are traditionally 12 days of Christmas. Not withstanding, I don’t think that is about the song Twelve Days ofChristmas.

    In the past, scholarly people of dubious notoriety come up with the annual cost of buying, your true love or your wife, the selected items in the song. Some of these items seem to me, would be difficult to quantify in dollars and cents.



    For example, does the Partridge include the pear tree? Then there s the Turtle Dove, it is mainly found in Europe. According to Wikipedia the Turtle Dove population is said to have decreased by 62 percent! No wonder with all these romantics snatching them up for their true love.

    I am not really sure what the Calling Birds are, and I am assuming French Hens are some form of exotic chickens, I may be wrong on that one. Five Golden Rings, wow with the price of gold these  days that would be a biggie. I don t know what gold crowns would be these days, but I'll bet it s a heck of a lot more than a regular crown.

    Then there s the 6 Geese a Laying, imagine this is probably the cheapest item on the list. Seven Swans a Swimming, is this even legal? I suppose there are domestic swans available. I did look up domestic swans on line, and found you can order them, most come from Europe and cost upwards of $3,000 (free shipping). At the top of the page there was a warningto check state and local regulations before ordering.

    Hiring 8 Maids a Milking would be tough, except maybe during the state fair. Nine Ladies Dancing, that might not be so tough, I suspect you could find these at just about any wedding dance in the area.

    The 10 Lords a Leaping would be tough. First of all you would have to go to Great Britain, and judging by their description, I doubt if you would find any jumping. As far as the Eleven Pipers Piping there are a few of these guys in the area, but I am sure they wouldn’t come cheap.

    One should be able to find 12 Drummers Drumming in most high school bands. I am sure the kids could use the extra cash.

    According to Reuters News Service, if you really wanted to send your true love these gifts, it would cost 7.7 percent more this year than in 2012. The cost for 2013 was estimated to be $27,393. Then they say it would cost almost $39,763 to buy the same items on line. But if your true love’s intent is on a real splurge you will pay $114,651 in stores for the 364 gift tally that amasses from traditional singing repetition of all the carol's verses, the analysis showed.

    Hopefully, after sticking with me this far, I will tell you about the real reason I am writing about the Twelve Days of Christmas. My horoscope says that I am a person with a short attention span and easily distracted from the task at hand. Now where was I?

    Oh yeah, about the Twelve Days of Christmas. Best Friend and I have for many years observed, somewhat loosely, the tradition, mostly of not taking down our tree until  after the twelfth day.

    Every year, as you know, I am not fond of putting up the tree or taking it down. Every year I begin lobbying for leaving it up all year around, and every year Best Friend says absolutely not.

    I think it would be nice to add hearts during Valentines season; then after that move on to Easter with bunnies and eggs; spring could be decorated with flowers or miniature birds; in July the tree could be decorated with flags and patriotic bunting; in Fall it could be decorated with colorful leaves, or small gourds; then for halloween spooks and goblins.  I was telling a couple of my friends about this and at this point one of them suggested topping the tree with a witch! I said, right! Best Friend would really not go for that one, thanks for the help anyway! Of course then there s Thanksgiving, and shortly after we’re back to Christmas. What could be better.

    So it came to pass, our Christmas tree was put away for another year, this past weekend (sigh).

Have a great week and do good!