You’ve all heard the tune. You’ve probably been hearing it since Halloween, if you live in the US, since that seems to be the de-facto date that the Christmas season is unapologetically shoved down our throats. While I generally tune out most carols after awhile – especially those that I’ve been hearing since childhood – sometimes I wonder about their etymology. So have you ever wondered what this old song is all about?
A quick online search tells us that The 12 Days of Christmas song originated around 1780 or so in England, and lauds the gifts of increasing grandiosity beginning on Christmas Day (or the day after) through the fifth of January, which is traditionally the last observed day of holiday merriment. I always assumed that these were traditional gifts of the time, but there appears to be no (easily internet-searchable) evidence to that point.
But if you’ve decided to give all the gifts mentioned in the carol, it wouldn’t be cheap. Check out the infographic below for more details on what will hit your wallet the hardest – who knew it would be those swans!?