12 Horrific Implications of the Most Famous Christmas Song

For the last couple years, a company called PNC Wealth Management has crunched the numbers behind "The 12 Days of Christmas" to determine the total monetary value of the gift haul laid out in the lyrics of that famous carol, and this year the grand total is $116,273.08 in modern-day money. As absurd as spending that amount of cash on anyone or anything for Christmas might seem, the estimate PNC came up with is actually way too low.

Sure, that might be what it would cost to buy those 12 days' worth of gifts, but the implications and responsibilities of owning them makes the entire venture far more costly than anything that could be explained with a one-time expense report. In fact, for anyone but the richest among us, being saddled with the gifts of the "The 12 Days of Christmas" could very well destroy your life.

And it all starts with a seemingly innocent gift ...

Day 1: A Partridge in a Pear Tree

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You Will Receive:

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Which Means You Now Own:

Total First Year Cost: $2,480

Simple enough, right? Just a bird in a tree.

Not by a long shot. To get the obvious out of the way immediately, these are both living things that will require maintenance and upkeep. In the case of the partridge, expect to shell out about $560 a year taking care of your new winged responsibility.

As for the tree: if you're getting one for a Christmas gift, it's probably an ornamental pear tree, which, exactly as the name implies, is a tree grown mostly for decorative purposes. In North America, the most common variety of ornamental pear tree is the Callery. It's a beauty to look at when it's in bloom. Unfortunately, that's also when its scent, which has been described as "reminiscent of rotting fish, chlorine, or semen" will likely be at its most pungent.

Also, it should go without saying that the tree isn't going to take care of itself. In fact, the Callery pear tree is more susceptible to storm damage and requires selective pruning during the early stages of its life to keep it healthy. You don't even know what those words mean, so you should probably get yourself a gardener. To be on the safe side, let's give them five hours per week at $8 per hour. That's another $160 added to the monthly bills, for a yearly total of $2,480 after just one day of gifts.

Day 2: Two Turtle Doves

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You Will Receive:

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Which Means You Now Own:

Total First Year Cost: $6,080

Remember, "The 12 Days of Christmas" is a cumulative deal. Each day, you get all of the gifts from the previous days again, along with something new. That means on Day 2, after finally coming to terms with the fact that you're now responsible for the life and growth of a massive pear tree and a stupid bird, you get an identical set. Even worse, two more birds to go along with them. Turtle doves, which disappointingly look nothing like either of the things they're named after.

Keeping $560 per year as an estimate for what it costs to raise a bird and considering you have a second tree now, we're at $6,080 per year in upkeep costs alone.

On top of that, you have four birds now. Owning one bird is weird enough to the people around you; owning four puts you squarely in contention for the title of "craziest goddamn person we know." That won't cost you anything in a financial sense, but getting excluded from your friend group because you refuse to break up with that weirdo who keeps dropping birds off at your place will definitely take its toll emotionally.

We've all heard this song before, though. You don't break up. You keep going. You always keep going. It's sad, really.

Day 3: Three French Hens

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You Will Receive:

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Which Means You Now Own:

Total First Year Cost: $11,360

Is raising a hen more or less expensive than a partridge or a turtle dove? That's the kind of question you don't even sort of have the time to ask yourself right now, because you've got 10 goddamn birds flapping around your one-bedroom apartment and a third pear tree, full of the promise of someday growing to be at least 15 meters high and reeking of rotting fish semen, sitting in a pot on your balcony. This is going to be a problem at some point, but right now all you can think about is the fact that, in just one day, your total yearly tab has almost doubled.

Also, something that we've been avoiding to this point ... where did you meet this psycho who won't stop bringing you birds? Can you maybe ask them to stop?

Day 4: Four Calling Birds

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You Will Receive:

metrolyrics.com

Which Means You Now Own:

Total First Year Cost: $18,800

They didn't stop. They never stop. You have 20 birds now. Things will never be the same. You've undoubtedly received noise complaints, and keeping that many animals in a confined space will become a legal nightmare sooner than later. Do you lawyer up and fight or pack up your shit and move? Both options are going to set you back even more money that you definitely don't have. All those new birds, along with another tree, bring your yearly total to $18,800.

Even worse, who can sleep with 20 birds around? Certainly not you. Insomnia will be a very major concern soon. That, in turn, will have an impact on your ability to work, thereby limiting your ability to take care of these stupid birds. For the sake of everyone involved, if this gets any worse, you'll want to think about moving.

Day 5: Five Golden Rings

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You Will Receive:

metrolyrics.com

Which Means You Now Own:

Total First Year Cost: $279,400

OK! Golden rings, this is progress. Let's give the giver enough credit to assume that these rings are of somewhat decent quality, but not enough to assume that giving in bulk means they got them anywhere other than Overstock.com, so let's say these are worth $200 each on the resale market, provided you catch your local pawn shop at its most generous.

That's the good news. The bad news, unfortunately, is everything else. While unloading those rings shaved $1,000 off your first year total, you're still up 10 more birds and another jizz tree, bringing the total cost for the first year to $25,400.

On top of that, there's no more getting around it, you need to move. You're the proud parent of 30 birds and five trees; that's going to call for some acreage. Leland Hayes' Gamebird Publications released a booklet that estimates up to $50,000 for one acre of land when you're trying to raise larger birds. You're not, technically, but surely 30 smaller birds add up to some configuration of larger birds. For fuck's sake, just make it work.

An acre is probably a lot less land than you realize, just about 75 percent of the size of a football field. You should probably buy five. That's bad news for you, to the tune of $250,000.

A financial hit like that means you can't be choosy about living quarters for yourself, so you do what so many homesteaders have done in recent years and pick up a fancy-pants FEMA trailer for right around $4,000. Your new first year total: $279,400. Goddamn.

Day 6: Six Geese-a-Laying

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You Will Receive:

metrolyrics.com

Which Means You Now Own:

Total First Year Cost: $289,280

Guess who's eating eggs for the rest of their damn life? You are! You can't afford to do anything else! Trying to turn your geese-a-laying into some kind of money-making operation will require money you don't have to invest in incubators and employees and such. You can definitely afford to eat free food, though, especially when you take into account that you've added another tree and 16 more birds to your arsenal of reasons to hate life. That brings your first year total to $289,280. That's assuming you pawn the five extra gold rings, of course, which you do, immediately.

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