It's the best/worst Christmas ever!
Now they've gone and done it. Your True Love has just monopolized nearly two weeks of your free time this holiday season, because they thought it'd be cute to turn The Twelve Days of Christmas from a timeless carol into an opulent realty. They've clearly had this planned for months, and it must've cost them a fortune, so the least you can do is play along with it. But obviously, some days of this particular Christmas are going to be better than others. There will be days when you appreciate your True Love's thoughtfulness, and others when you'll wish they would just buy you a gift card and be done with it.
We here at GamesRadar+ have used our collective wisdom to rank many things from best to not-so-best, including the Metal Gear, Halo, and Silent Hill series. Now we turn our attention to this classic holiday tune, considering entertainment, utility, and overall value to give you the definitive standings for the twelve days leading up to the actual day of Christmas, December 25th. Whether you're the gifter or the giftee in this incredibly drawn-out scenario, these professional appraisals provide the perfect guide for how you're supposed to feel on each day.
12. Ten lords-a-leaping
"What the hell is this? Who the hell even are these people, and why are they in my home? What do you mean they 'live here now'!?" These exciting questions and more are sure to follow if you ever decide to give someone twelve grown-ass men whom you've instructed to "leap around." Who in their right mind would do this? This verse of rhyme might as well read "Ten white elephants a-ruining Christmas" because that's exactly what's a-happening here.
11. Four calling birds
Will somebody please make those birds SHUT UP?! Bird calls are pleasant on a sunny morning, but being forced to listen to incessant chirping for eight days straight would drive anyone up the wall. And nothing puts the kibosh on happy holidays like seriously contemplating the murder of four feathered friends.
10. Eleven pipers piping
And you thought those godforsaken calling birds were bad. Here come eleven failed musicians eager to reenact Christmas carols once a year for some paltry additional income, all of whom look like they need to be doing something better with their lives (right after they grab a shower and clean the grimy, encrusted spit off their instruments). Within seconds, you'll politely ask them to stop. But oh no, your True Love paid them good money, and they're going to perform the entirety of this ear-piercing flute piece whether you want to hear it or not.
9. Two turtle doves
Turtles doves aren't all that different from pigeons, so if you've ever delighted at the thought of owning a pair of them, day two of this gift marathon is going to be a real winner. If, like most people, the idea of owning two pigeons does absolutely nothing for you, then you may just want to shove these out the window when your True Love isn't looking. Don't worry, they'll be fine.
8. Seven swans a-swimming
Swans are traditionally objects of beauty, so it'd be quite lovely watching them serenely swimming around a pond that hasn't frozen over in the cold December air. Lovely for about five minutes... and then you start to wonder what comes next. Swans typically mate for life, and with an odd number like seven, that dooms one poor oddball to crushing loneliness. Way to go, True Love - you just turned a heartfelt gesture into one of the most awkward, depressing gifts imaginable.
7. Three French hens
Given the True Love's propensity for theatrics, this is a surprisingly pragmatic gift. Three is a perfectly manageable amount of fowl to bequeath someone. They may not be actively "a-laying" like the upcoming geese, but I'm sure if you give the hens a little corn feed they'll come around. Alternatively, you could also butcher them and whip up some juicy chicken breast for the whole family. There are plenty of useful options with this gift.
6. Nine ladies dancing
The perceived value of this gift relies on so many uncertain variables that it seems like far more trouble than it's worth. Are these ladies doing some erotic dancing, in the most twisted perversion of the Christmas spirit since Bad Santa? Do they dabble in ballet, which only the most refined viewer could appreciate? Or is this an interpretive dance bordering on the level of performance art? Whatever the case, the dance troupe's choreography better be on point, because no one wants to waste their time with amateurs - looking at you, pipers.
5. Six geese a-laying
Okay, True Love, take a knee here, sport. You need to lay off the fowl, pheasants, and other assorted birds, okay? We have enough at this point. Granted, geese are beautiful creatures, and the fact that these ones are a-laying does mean we'll be having goose-egg omelets for the next couple of days, but this is getting excessive. How about a nice... oh, I don't know... sweater, or some new gloves, instead? Even a freaking Amazon gift card would be preferred at this point.
4. Eight maids a-milking
I can take or leave the whole milking thing - unless you're celebrating Christmas down on the farm - but it is nice to have some extra help around the house during the holidays. With all the friends and relatives coming in and out, you need some able bodies to make emergency grocery store trips, wrap presents, or squirrel away Uncle Jack's whisky bottle when he's not looking. Of course, you also have eight more people to take care of under your roof. Maybe you can introduce them to those prancing Lords...
3. One partridge in a pear tree
Okay, let's get real for a second: compared to a lot of the other gifts on this list, a simple partridge and a pear tree is a pretty sweet deal. Partridges are nice birds - they're sort of like smaller, more elegant chickens - and they're certainly easier to be around than those damn calling birds from earlier. Plus you get a pear tree - a whole pear tree. Drop that thing in your back yard and enjoy some delicious, organic pears later on. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
2. Twelve drummers drumming
The True Love has pulled out some pretty stupid and ill-conceived gifts in the past, but this one almost makes up for them all. Twelve. Drummers. Drumming. Do you realize how amazing this would be to have at a holiday party? Remember Mad Max (opens in new tab)? Remember Drumline (opens in new tab)? This is the perfect form of live entertainment for you and your guests - and all twelve of them are there to make you look awesome. Imagine walking out with the Christmas goose/turkey/tofurky and hearing *CHA-KAKA-CHA-KAKA-CKA* as you strut over and set it down on the table. The very thought of these pro percussionists gets us pumped up.
1. Five golden rings
JACKPOT! Don't even sweat the fact that this might be your True Love's bizarre way of proposing marriage, with a ring for each finger on your left hand. Just think of the resale value on these babies. You're only four away from the Nine Rings of Man forged in The Lord of the Rings, and they were a pretty big deal. The difference being, those rings cursed their wearers to an eternity of tormented service in undeath, whereas these will curse you with a fat stack of cash from the nearest pawn shop, instantly putting a spring in your step. It'd be easier if your True Love had just cut you a check and called it a day, but this will do nicely. You're probably going to hate True Love when these twelve days are over, but after this cashout, you can't say they never did anything for you.