Five Gold Rings–Pineapple?

I was in the thrift store yesterday, and I saw four of the American Glass circa 1980’s  12 Days of Christmas glasses for sale, 50 cents each!  I was tempted to buy them and gift them to Jeremy, but on closer inspection, the decals were fairly worn, so I passed up five gold rings, and six geese a-laying, but now I’ve got my nose to the ground for a complete set of Christmas song glassware.

However, as I searched the internet for the glasses, I discovered many 12 Day of Christmas themed gifts, from costly Lennox and Waterford to inexpensive do-it-yourself gifts. A full set of the glasses I saw in the thrift store are an inexpensive purchase at

I found one website with suggestions for a Secret-Santa style gift extravaganza, beginning with a can of pears on the first day and progressing through the gifts to five gold rings (butterscotch Lifesavers) and eight swans a swimming (a recording of “Swan Lake”).  The entire list is here.  I think this is a genius idea for the adventurous.  I’m planning to try this next year to surprise my grandson.

When do you put away Christmas?

My first conversation with the man who would someday be my husband concerned the length of time it is appropriate to display the decorated Christmas tree.  I argued that the Feast of the Epiphany ends the traditional 12 days of Christmas, so that is the appropriate moment.  He firmly believes that out of respect for the life of the tree, we must display it as long as possible, preferably until the first day of spring or until it becomes a fire hazard.  What’s your opinion?

On the fourth day of Christmas…

So today arrive the calling birds.  What the heck are calling birds?  I think most assume, as I did, that they are some type of ornate and beautiful song birds.  Nope.  A little digging led me to find that calling birds are just an American change in pronunciation of colly birds.  Colly birds are not ornate, not beautiful, and don’t sing.  Turns out they are just your plain old black birds.  I think I might have to let my true love know to stop delivery on those birds.

The gifts are not the same the world over.  In France on day four you might be receiving four pig’s trotters- yup, pig’s feet.  If your true love is Scottish, on day four prepare for the arrival of your grey goose.  If your gifts come from an Aussie there are a few options for day four.  Down under you might get four lyre birds, four kookaburras, or four koalas cuddling.  Not sure which of the options I’d most like to be sent, but the trotters are definitely on the bottom of the list.

Can you afford it?

The popular song the Twelve Days of Christmas outlines an interesting list of gifts from your true love.  Ever wonder just how much that thoughtful giving might set your love back?  Well it’s easy to find out the cost for 2011.  PNC bank has been calculating the cost in its annual Christmas Price Index.  2011 total cost is up a little from 2010.  All those birds, maids, and lords would rack up a bill of $24,263.18.  If you’re up for a little fun check out the PNC Christmas Price Index site.  It has a cool little train that makes stops collecting the items.  Lots of fun and educational!

December 26: Boxing Day

Welcome to The Yule Log, a blog that explores the spirit of Christmas, counting down to Christmas 2012. Day One is December 26, a day of rest and relaxation.  Not!  This is the second day of the traditional twelve days of Christmas celebration, ending with the Feast of the Epiphany.  The party has just started!  According to the Christmas song on this day, “my true love gave to me two turtle doves.”

Also, in England and Canda, this day is Boxing Day, the traditional time for wealthy people to box their leftovers and distribute them to the poor.  Jeremy and I have overstuffed refrigerators, so boxing up the leftovers is a good idea.

In addition, this is the Feast of St. Stephen, recognized as the first Christian martyr, the “protomartyr.”

We’ll be podcasting throughout the year.  Check us out!