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The 12 Days of Christmas are upon us. In holiday traditions, the first day of Christmas is Dec. 25 and the 12th day is Jan. 6. I’m sure you’ve all heard the popular Christmas carol about the all of the presents purchased by the “true love” for the nearly two week period.

Over the years, the gifts mentioned in the beloved carol have been analyzed and data compiled on the exact total cost. This year it will cost you just under $39,000 for all 12 days.

During my travels over Christmas, I picked up a copy of the La Crosse Tribune and saw a spread outlining how much each gift costs as well as what it cost last year.

There is an episode of “The Office” that outlines the absurdity of the 12 days shopping list.

The first couple of days are a bunch of birds. In the episode, salesman Andy Bernard buys the gifts for the office secretary, Erin Hannon.

Hannon goes out to her car every day and finds new birds in her car. They begin to ruin her life by pecking at her and one of the birds even starts pulling out her hair to build a nest. Great stuff.

Back to the prices, it starts with a partridge in a pear tree which will cost you around $210, a reduction from last year. Two turtle doves stayed the same as last year at $181.50 and that is oddly the same price as three French hens. Four calling birds will set you back about $600, no market change for those birds.

However, the price of gold rings has surged and five of them will cost you $825, $75 more expensive than last year. Also, the price of geese went up over 7%.

Seven swans a-swimming (the priciest gift on the list at $13,125), eight maids a-milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords a-leaping all stayed at the same price. However, the musicians in the group – 1 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming both got a 0.8% pay raise.

Overall the gifts will cost you $38,993.59, a 0.2% increase from 2018 when the price was $38,296.03.


I had quite a bit of downtime over the last few days and when that happens I become a couch potato.

I finished the miniseries “Chernobyl” on HBO last week. It documents a group of Soviet scientists attempting to solve the issue of the explosion of a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986. I learned two things from the five-part series.

The first is that the Soviets are bad guys and the second is that they do a lot of lying.

This leads to my resolutions for next year. They are simple but possible - be more present in thinking about the future and don’t purposely cause anyone harm. Seems simple enough, right?

Jonathan Richie is the editor of the Burnett County Sentinel. He can be reached at 715-463-2341 or by email at