No matter how many times you’ve sung it — or found ways to avoid singing it — how well do you really know the classic Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas?” Keep reading to learn five revelations about the ubiquitous, repetitive Christmas song.

1. The “Twelve Days” don’t end on Christmas Day — they begin on it. The “12 days of Christmas” begin on Christmas Day and end on January 5, marking the time of “merry-making” until the Epiphany. The singer’s true love is generously extending his or her gift-giving for nearly two weeks after Christmas Day. Are we sure we want ANYTHING from 2020 extending into 2021?!

2. Is it “four colly birds,” or “four calling birds?” Believe it or not, there’s a debate on this one. “Colly” is an obsolete synonym meaning “coal or the color of coal.”  It is believed the original song sang “colly birds,” symbolizing blackbirds. More recent translations of the song sing “calling birds.” Regardless, the debate rages on.

3. “Five golden rings” may actually refer to five pheasants. It’s been noted that the song’s seemingly abrupt switch from four birds, to five pieces of jewelry, and back to six birds actually makes perfect sense: The “five golden rings” are likely a reference to ring-necked pheasants. I hope the movie “The Birds” doesn’t scare you because at this point, you’re getting a lot of them for Christmas!

4. The total number of gifts given in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is 364. Multiply each gift by the number of times it recurs in a full round of the song and you’ll see that the gifts’ recipient would have to rent a storage unit (and possibly a lake) to contain the bounty that includes 42 swans a-swimming, 22 pipers piping, and 40 maids a-milking!

5. In 2020, your true love would have to spend $105,561.80 to buy all 364 presents. PNC Wealth Management has calculated the cost of the gifts every year since 1984, in an annual report called the “Christmas Price Index. Below is a breakdown of the calculated costs of one of each gift:

  • ONE partridge in a pear tree: $210.18. In 2020 the partridge “stayed in place” due to COVID lockdown restrictions earlier this year, leaving the cost unchanged from last year.
  • TWO turtle doves: $450.00, with market volatility causing an over 50% increase in costs over 2019.
  • THREE French hens: $210.00, a 15% cost increase over last year. Perhaps they’re flocking together with the previously mentioned fowl?
  • FOUR colly/calling birds: $599.96, remaining unchanged from last year. Whatever they’re called, they’re not cheap!
  • FIVE golden rings: $945.00, an increase over last year due to increased interest in the precious metal at the onset of the pandemic. Perhaps your true love already bought you these before the pandemic?
  • SIX geese-a-laying: $570.00, also an expensive fowl with a 35% cost increase over last year.
  • SEVEN swans-a-swimming: $13,125.00. Your true love better have saved their pennies as these birds are going to cost them a pretty one! The cost does remain unchanged from last year, however. 
  • EIGHT maids-a-milking: $58.00. Since the Federal minimum wage hasn’t changed, this cost remains the same as last year. But milking through a pandemic should afford them some acts of goodwill from you!
  • NINE ladies dancing: Unfortunately, there’s going to be no ladies dancing this year due to the cancellation of live events because of the pandemic. Virtual performances reign supreme this year so your true love could appreciate the break on their pocketbook, eh?
  • TEN lords-a-leaping: Also unavailable this year, these lords are staying virtual through the pandemic. And, where exactly does one find ten “leaping lords?”
  • ELEVEN pipers piping: Again, the pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect of our daily lives. So hopefully the only thing you’re catching this holiday season is an online musical performance from these pipers!
  • TWELVE drummers drumming: This is getting repetitive but again, no drummers in 2020! Hopefully next year they will be drumming to the beat of a different tune! 

Given the cancellation of live performances this year due to the pandemic, if your true love really wants to give you the presents in the song, 2020 is the year to do it, as they can expect to spend 38% less than they would have in 2019. They could even scale it back a bit and buy one of each of the twelve gifts, which would only set them back $16,168.14! How’s that for a holiday deal?

Here at Reid & Pederson, we share a lot of scary stories about what can happen if your sewer backs up or if your drains are clogged. With it being Halloween, today we are sharing a post that should bring a smile of delight instead of a scream of terror. Read on to learn some fun facts about Halloween you may not know. We promise you can leave the light on (unless the villain in #4 terrifies you, too!)

1. The Keene Pumpkin Festival

The Keene Pumpkin Festival, held annually in Keene, New Hampshire, holds the Guinness World Record for the highest number of lit jack o’lanterns on display. The 30,581 pumpkins were placed on display in 2013 during the annual festival and the record has since remained.

2. Most Famous Haunted House?

Is the most famous address in the United States haunted? That’s what residents, staff and visitors of the White House claim. President Ronald Reagan once remarked that his dog would visit any room except the Lincoln Bedroom. And the most common ghostly visitor? You guessed it…Honest Abe himself. Lincoln has supposedly been spotted by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady Grace Coolidge, Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands and Sir Winston Churchill, to name a few. Other ghostly guests? Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams and Dolly Madison!

3. Beggar’s Night

The city of Des Moines, Iowa celebrates Beggar’s Night every year on the night before Halloween. Created as a way to prevent vandalism and to give younger children a fun, safe night, the night is very similar to trick or treating with one catch. In order to get a treat, kids must tell a joke, poem or perform a “trick” for a treat. Cue the dad jokes!

4. Michael Myers’ Mask

Here’s a fun fact about the movie Halloween. Filmed on such a tight budget, the crew used the cheapest mask they could find to create the face of Michael Myers. Using a $2 Star Trek Captain Kirk mask found at a Hollywood magic shop by the production designer, the mask was spray painted white and the eye holes were reshaped. What resulted was the gruesome facade of the infamous killer that continues to terrify audiences today.

5. Candy Corn Chicken Feed

You either love candy corn or you hate it. There’s no in-between. Regardless of where you fall in the great candy corn debate, did you know that it was originally called Chicken Feed? Sold by the masses by Goelitz Confectionery Company (now Jelly Belly Co.) it was named so because corn is what is used to feed chickens and the company wanted to appeal to America’s agricultural roots. So they called it “Chicken Feed” and added a colorful rooster to the box.

6. Tasting the Rainbow

Ending this post on a sweet note, did you know that Skittles are the top Halloween candy, according to 11-years of sales data from CandyStore.com? These colorful bite-sized candies outranked favorites such as M&Ms, Snickers, Kit Kat and Reese’s peanut butter cups! That’s a lot of people who love to taste the rainbow!

We hope you enjoyed these interesting facts about All Hallows’ Eve. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

When is Earth Day & Why?

April 22nd, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day took place on April 22nd, 1970 in an effort to promote consciousness of the state of our planet and the effects of environmental pollution in the lives of humans around the globe. Founded by Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the effects of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California  and inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that combining the anti-war protests with increasing environmental consciousness, environmental protection could become more mainstream. 

What is Earth Day & Why Is It Important?

Recruiting a small team, he pushed the idea of Earth Day to the national media and eventually grew a staff to promote the event across the country. By the time April 22, 1970 came around, 20 million Americans came out to demonstrate for a healthier, sustainable planet for themselves and future generations. By the end of the year, the first Earth Day movement led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Water, Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts. 

Earth Day Then & Earth Day 2020

  • Earth Day 1990 – Twenty years later, on April 22, 1990, Earth Day went global, in 141 countries and with 200 million citizens around the world campaigning for a healthier planet.
  • Earth Day 2000 – Ten years later, on Earth Day 2000, citizens leveraged the power of the rising Internet to mobilize and push for cleaner energy standards and recognize global warming trends. In total, 184 countries and hundreds of millions of people around the globe participated.
  • Earth Day 2010 – By 2010, the Earth Day Network launched its plant a tree campaign, The Canopy Project, and launched its Billion Acts of Green initiative, the world’s largest environmental service project.

Today, Earth Day is celebrated by over a billion people globally and is promoted as a day of action to not only beautify our planet but to provoke conscious discussion and environmental policy changes. 

As we continue to navigate these uncertain times during the COVID-19 outbreak, we want you, our valued customers, to know that we are here for you.

Governor Pritzker has put forth a legal protection order for Illinois residents. Reid & Pederson provides sanitary sewer services necessary for the safe operation of a residence, and therefore, we will remain OPEN to serve you with your sanitary sewer needs. 

One thing we are certain of is our commitment to the health and safety of all of our customers and our employees. With that said, we are taking the following extra precautions in order to maintain the same level of customer service you have come to expect from us.

  • Screening during initial call. All customers are being asked if anyone in their home is sick. Please reschedule your appointment if you are sick, we will continue to be here for you long after this uncertain time is over.
  • Social Distancing. Our technicians are practicing safe social distancing – maintaining a 6-foot distance and not shaking hands – while in your home. Our technicians are also taking their trucks home with them every evening in a greater effort to further minimize day-to-day contact with others.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing. Our technicians are equipped with proper cleaning and sanitizing products for themselves and their vehicles. We have enhanced our cleaning protocols and increased the number of times office work areas, vehicles and all other areas are cleaned and disinfected.

Reid & Pederson is taking every precaution to keep our employees and our customers safe through these uncertain times. If you have any immediate service needs or any questions about how we can help you and your family over the next few weeks, please call us right away.

We are here and we remain committed to you!

Our focus remains to provide exceptional service to our customers. Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. State Department, World Health Organization, and our local health department officials, we are taking appropriate precautions to protect the health and safety of our employees and customers while continuing to maintain our business operations.

Precautionary Measures

In order to provide our sewer and drain cleaning services, our employees have to enter our customers’ homes and businesses. When they do, they may ask you some questions before entering to ensure they are taking the appropriate precautions. They’ll also request some social distancing while in your home – maintaining a 6-foot distance and not shaking hands – and may wear protective gear, when necessary and appropriate.

Other precautionary measures we are taking include:

  • Employees are to stay home if ill.
  • We have enhanced our cleaning protocols and increased the number of times work areas, vehicles and all other areas are cleaned and disinfected.
  • We have communicated best practices with our staff to minimize risk to our customers, especially those who might have underlying medical conditions that make them more susceptible to the virus.

Please rest assured that we are taking these precautionary actions to maintain the good health of all our customers and employees.

Join Us in Safety

We are committed to doing our part to keep you healthy, and we ask that you join us in our efforts to minimize exposure, too. If you have an appointment with us but have been advised to stay at home by a health official for the coronavirus or if you or anyone in your home are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please reach out and let us know.

If you need to reschedule your appointment, we can be reached at 708-260-6914. Thank you for your continued support during this trying time.

Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus (COVID-a9)

World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease advice for the public

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