If someone ever tells you they want to give you all the gifts from "The 12 Days of Christmas," you need to run.  Or punch them in the face.  Whatever you have to do.  Just don't get caught up in that web -- it will ruin you.  Here's why:

Everything you know about "The 12 Days of Christmas" is wrong, my friends.  As a public service, we're including everything you need to know about them.  Feel free to listen below.  And then below that, in case you can't hear, you can read the transcript.

"The Literal 12 Days of Christmas" by Scott Lewis

Around this time of year, a bunch of people like to get out their calculators and try to add up how much a real 12 Days of Christmas would cost.  For 2012, they say it’s over $107,000.  But they’re dead wrong.  Their math is fuzzy, and I’m going to tell you why.

First off, everyone assumes you get a partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens and so on.  But that’s not true.  Listen to the song again.  They repeat all the gifts for EVERY day.  That means that on day one, you get a partridge in a pear tree.  On day two, you get two turtle doves … and ANOTHER partridge in a pear tree.  Two partridges.  Two pear trees.  And you’re getting another one for each day we do this mess.

When you actually read the song and do the math literally, you would actually end up with:

  • 12 partridges in pear trees.
  • 22 turtle doves.
  • 30 French hens.
  • 36 calling birds.
  • 40 golden rings.
  • 42 geese-a-laying.
  • 42 swans-a-swimming.
  • 40 maids-a-milking.
  • 36 ladies dancing.
  • 30 lords-a-leaping.
  • 22 pipers piping.
  • And 12 drummers drumming.

That’s 184 birds, man!  And you just know some of them are going to get the ticks, so good luck with those vet bills.  We’ll also have to assume 40 cows for those maids to milk -- otherwise those chicks are frickin’ worthless.  And just like that, we’ve got this whole ranch operation.

It’s also a total of 140 people.  And you’re going to have to pay them something, because if not, that’s slavery and you’re going to have to repeal the 13th Amendment.  You’re also going to have to feed all of these jokers, which is going to be hard with only pears and geese eggs.  Of course, you’ll have that cow milk to drink and to make cheese out of.  And worse comes to worst, they could start eating the birds, so hmm … that could work out.

But now you’re getting into serious health care costs.  You have all these dancing ladies and leaping lords, not to mention carpal tunnel problems for the milking maids and tendonitis for those drummers. There’s going to be injuries, and who’s going to get sued for that?  Mmm hmm -- you.  Plus, the only music they have to dance and leap around to is … pipes and drums! So some of them will start to go insane.

And there are other concerns.  We know we have 30 lords, and if we assume the pipers and the drummers are all dudes, then we have 64 guys total.  And 76 girls. That’s a dozen girls sitting home alone on a Saturday night.  And it gets worse when we get honest with ourselves about the leaping lords – look, some of them, if not all of them, are going to be gay.  I’m just saying at the end of all this, there’s going to be a lot of single cat ladies, and we simply can’t bring that many cats around that many birds without some casualties.  PETA’s gonna protest!

We do have 40 rings, so that means 20 marriages.  And now we’ve got to look seriously at maternity leave.  Who’s going to milk those cows when the maids get knocked up and can’t sit on the milking stools?  The leaping lords?  No way that’s going to work – they’ll scare the herd half to death. And try piping or drumming around a cow’s rear end and see how that works for you.

I mean, it’s just CHAOS, man.  The 12 Days of Christmas aren’t gifts – they’re punishments.  They’re a trip to the poor house.  At best, you’re running a farm full of mental patients, and at worst you’re a slave master with 10 metric tons of bird poop.

Merry freakin’ Christmas.