Here is an appropriate article from Wayne's Maverick Archive, especially relevant now that Christmas is just a few weeks away.
Hearing all those Christmas Carols as I go about my business, it got me wondering how much would the gifts that I am supposed to give my true love for Christmas cost... rather romantically I thought that they would be all things from the backyard given with love... you know the stuff "It's the thought that counts."
So, I turned to my faithful Google and enquired "how much is it going to cost??"
I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised but according to Associated Press, a group in America, PNC Financial Services Group, have been conducting a yearly survey on the cost of buying your true love all the gifts in the Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
This year the cost of the gifts has risen 9.5 percent after last year's increase of just 1.5 percent.
Apparently cost have been driven up by avian flu fears and the world oil crisis driving prices of petrol higher, but also gold prices are also on the rise.
You'll have to shell out $450 for the five gold rings this year.
And with the threat of avian flu, good luck getting three French hens from France.
Though you could find local suppliers.
Each year since 1982, PNC Financial Services Group, a Pittsburgh-based bank does a tongue-in-cheek tally of how much the lords a-leaping, pipers piping and maids a-milking would cost if you bought them for your true love at today's prices.
This year, the price tag for all 364 items, from a partridge in a pear tree to a dozen drummers drumming - if they were bought repeatedly on each day as the song suggests: $100,844, up from $92,130 last year.
For that price you could get a platinum 6.9 karat yellow diamond ring, well-equipped Porsche Cayman S sports car, nicely equipped BMW coupe, Porsche sport utility vehicle or fully-loaded 2005 Jaguar convertible.
Buying each item in the song just once would set you back $25,483, up from $24,022 last year.
The nine ladies dancing again cost the most - $4,576, followed by the seven swans at $4,200 and 10 leaping lords at $4,039.
Also, geese cost almost twice as much and the price of swans went up by 20 percent this year, according to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
That's because large birds come from national retailers whose shipping costs have risen due to high fuel prices.
Turtledoves and calling birds, however, weren't hit by high energy prices because these smaller birds can be bought from local retailers.
As for the partridge? That's still $15.
I think the modern tradition, especially the one that I follow, of giving a bottle of Margaret River Red is much more sensible.
- Wayne Mansfield