Dear True Love: You can forget about sending me seven swans a swimming. No more graceful bird exists (the graceful white swan goes gliding along, and etc.) but swans can also be nasty and temperamental. Plus they are hard to care for. The developers of our retirement community in St. George installed a bunch of ponds and floated swans in each of them. Many of us never got to see them anyway, and every year we were all paying for the miserable things. Gradually they got too expensive and then disappeared, forever, I hope. We no longer had to subsidize the feeding and care of swans. Oh happy day!
Turns out that my friend, the Wizard of Google, only coughed up about 85,000 entries to explain seven swans a swimming. Major emphasis on Google is the poor lady on Wheel of Fortune who allegedly prounounced swimming as swimmin' when presented with most of the letters for Seven Swans a Swimming, and therefore lost a whole bunch of bucks. This episode sparked a hailstorm of gripes. All of the entries in the Twelve Days of Christmas have a religious connotation, but we will skip those for now and rely on the straightforward explanation without any hidden meanings. We have to assume that the pear tree is on a pond and that the partridge, the turtle doves, the French hens, and the calling birds have hunkered down to wait out the end of the song so they can fly off to greener pastures. Only five more days go go!
Meanwhile, can you believe that nine days have passed after Christmas? Have you taken down your Christmas tree? Have you boxed up your Christmas decorations? Have you finished eating your Christmas goodies? Have you cleaned up after your New Year's party? Are your kids sick of the expensive toys they cried and whined for and then promptly ignored to go and play with a big cardboard box? Have you paid the bills for your Christmas extravaganza? Have you answered all of your Christmas cards? Are you ready for thrills on the new season of Downton Abbey? Are you anxiously awaiting the next food binge on Super Bowl Day so you can augment the 5-10 pounds you have already gained between Thanksgiving and January 1? Have you figured out how to dispose of your Christmas tree? And, since you ordered at least half of your stuff online, have you considered how you are going to get rid of all of the big cardboard boxes the stuff came in? Have you bought a carload of batteries to keep all the stuff running? We offer these points to ponder on the ninth day after Christmas, being January 3, 2014, to help keep you fine tuned and up to snuff, so to speak. We hope your New Year is indeed happy as you buy wrapping paper for 75% off to save until next Christmas.