In a guilt-induced effort to get involved in the holiday spirit, I attempted to bring together, in a live, three-dimensional format, all twelve verses of the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas” on my front lawn.

For the last decade, my sole contribution to outdoor Christmas decorations has been the placement of wreaths on the brass door knockers on my two exterior doors. I only did that because it amuses me when my neighbors call across the yard, “Hey, Denise,  I see you have decorated your ‘knockers’ again this year. Ha ha.”

The Twelve Days of Christmas project was an ambitious undertaking.

The swans a’swimming and the geese a’laying were not too hard to come by in my semi-rural neighborhood.

The lords a’leaping were a little harder to get. In my social circle, real men do not leap around while wearing revealing tights, which is not to say that I wouldn’t like it if they did.

Then one of the drummers drumming, who was married to one of the maids a’milking, ran off with one of the dancers dancing. This left a few gaps in the lineup. Perhaps I should have chosen ballerinas or tap dancers instead of strippers for my dancers dancing.

Then PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) threatened to sue me because I did not give the swans a’swimming or the geese a’laying the two ten-minute breaks per hour that they were entitled to. Why do they need a break? Swimming and laying are what swans and geese do. It is not as if I asked them to do any a’leaping or a’milking.

Believe it or not, a partridge in a pear tree was the toughest element of the song to fill. Since the Partridge Family parked its psychedelic bus back in the 1970s, the Partridge Family has made itself pretty scarce.

Keith Partridge is the only member of the family I could track down, and even he balked at having to sit in a pear tree. Keith considers himself a serious dramatic actor. 

“What is my motivation?” Keith asked haughtily.

“Five hundred bucks,” I answered.

“Have you got a ladder?” he asked. “The first limb of that pear tree is pretty far off the ground.”

He sang like canary after that, although all he would sing is his pop hit, “I Think I Love You,” instead of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Between the exorbitant salaries, the fines for keeping livestock in a residential area, the PETA lawsuit, and the fine for not having the appropriate permits, I will be ending the year flat broke.



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