• Dan Osbaldeston


Though it is a fun carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas would actually be a bit of a nightmare. By the end of the 12 days, my true love would have given me a total of 364 gifts; namely 184 birds, 40 gold rings and 140 people (plus 12 pear trees and, one must presume, 40 dairy animals for the maids to be milking).

This raises all sorts of questions, for example:- • Where am I going to keep all this stuff? • Don’t these people have their own homes to go to? Are these 140 people my responsibility now? • How am I going to explain all the piping and drumming to the neighbours? • Where are the swans going to swim? • Are the geese, you know... *horrible*? • Has my true love kept the receipts?

As for the value of all of these gifts, the Christmas Price Index is an actual (though tongue-in-cheek) economic indicator. You can read about it at

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