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I am a committed Christmas traditionalist. I love all of it...the carols, the decorations, the church service, the gift giving. As to the latter however, one tradition I do not abide are the presents offered in The Twelve Days of Christmas. Think about it. This is not about the modern secular world creeping in to destroy yet another holiday tradition. I'm not sure the Twelve Days' gifts ever made sense. Consider:

A partridge in a pear tree. I love fruit. Apples, oranges, peaches, strawberries (yes, I realize they don't grow on trees). But pears? Eh.

Two turtle doves. What are these good for? Though come to think of it, one of my wife's chicken dinners when we were first married tasted suspiciously like what I imagine a turtle dove does to one's palate. (Uh, honey, your cooking has gotten much better. Well, there was that time you tried a souffle, but let's not go there).

Three french hens. The French always seem so anti-American, I prefer to abstain from Parisian goods.

Four calling birds. We live in a wooded area. Every time I wash the car, you know what those #@!! birds do? Ix-nay on this gift.

Five gold rings. My wife says these are precious. She may have a point in this one case.

Six geese a laying. Admittedly, a large supply of eggs could be useful, especially with inflation these days, but do you know what else geese leave behind? Last thing I need is spending hours each day cleaning up the yard after over a half dozen diarrhetic fowl.

Note to children: If I wake up Christmas morning and find seven swan in our bath tub, you are DISINHERITED. I'm not kidding!

Eight maids a milking. We do not have a cow, so the maids will be gainfully unemployed, have to apply for government benefits, which my hard earned tax dollars will go toward. Please...I work hard enough without having to support milkless maidens.

Nine ladies dancing. I am VERY married to the one great love of my life, who also likes to dance. So no need for nine other dancing women.

Ten lords a leaping. I could go to Lincoln Center, but I've never been a fan of men in underwear prancing balletically across the stage.

Eleven pipers piping. Tell me what these contribute to the world? Maybe, just maybe, if they're of the pied piper variety and we can turn them loose in the New York City subway system to lure out the rats, then let's talk.

Twelve drummers drumming. Years ago, when the children were young we bought them a drum set. Big mistake. Does anyone realize how much racket they make? Does anyone like to sleep? And you want to get me twelve of these? As my daughter would say..."Puh-leese." (It is a two syllable word).

I realize a hundred years from now people will say, "Those silly early 21st century people! They gave out gift cards when they could have had a partridge in a pear tree!"


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