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Top Nine Best gifts in 12 Days of Christmas

No matter which winter holiday you celebrate, or what days you actually think these actually are, you've certainly heard (and probably sung along with) "The Twelve Days of Christmas" ad nauseum in your lifetime. From Frank Sinatra and Burl Ives to the Muppets and Alvin and the Chipmunks, seemingly everyone has recorded a version of the tune, with numerous comedians even lampooning it into their own wacky versions.

But have you ever sat down and actually dissected the lyrics? And if so, have you wondered exactly what kind of person would actually subject his true love to a 23-piece two-instrument band, why they'd gift them a pair of natural animal kingdom enemies, and whether or not an entire hand worth of bling is enough to compensate?

If you haven't, then fear not, intrepid reader, for we have - and for the final installment of The Niner for 2013, we've ranked, at least in our mind, the best gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas, and to be fair to all of them, we've convoluted a couple of ties so none of the generosity gets left out.

With that, The Niner is on a holiday break the next two weeks, but until we return in January, we wish all of our readers a safe and happy holiday season and New Year!

  • SIX GEESE A-LAYING/SEVEN SWANS A-SWIMMING (tie)
    Together they make no sense, as geese and swans are natural enemies. Separately, though, one is kind of beautiful (and means you have a large water installation nearby) and the other means a lot of free breakfast, so we'll call it a wash, put them at No. 9, and be done with it all.
  • TWO TURTLE DOVES/FOUR CALLING BIRDS (tie)
    These are great gifts if you're an amateur ornithologist, but chances are they'll eventually fly away and leave you with nothing…which, to be fair, is probably better for your cleaning bill.
  • TEN LORDS A-LEAPING/NINE LADIES DANCING (tie)
    Just add music and you've got your very own nightclub right in the front yard! Not bad, as long as they're not dancing the Macarena, of course.
  • ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING
    The music for the dance party has to come from somewhere, right?
  • TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING
    See above, with an addendum: the songwriters probably meant marching band drummers to go along with the bagpipers - which is awesome in and of itself, especially on March 17 - but how much more awesome would it be if they really meant guys like Lars Ulrich and Dave Grohl and the like?
  • THREE FRENCH HENS
    Choose your witty caption: "Or as we call it, breakfast, lunch, and dinner" or "Finally, an answer to whether the chicken or the egg actually came first!"
  • EIGHT MAIDS A-MILKING
    Well, you're going to need to wash down all those chicken omelettes, right? Bonus points if the milkmaids double as the dancing ladies, because that will save you some serious scratch in payroll taxes.
  • A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE
    The partridge can at the very least make you one good fancy dinner, and a pear tree provides both useful shade and an important part of a balanced breakfast. It's a win-win!
  • FIVE GOLDEN RINGS
    Did you really not think this was No. 1? Like, have you seen the price of gold these days? Now that is true love.
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