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The Cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas [Infographic]

December 15, 2013 |  by save  chika


If you celebrate Christmas you likely know all of the traditional songs that go along with the holiday. Classics such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Jingle Bells,” and “Let it Snow,” among many more can be heard all over in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but perhaps none are quite so iconic as “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” where the singer buys their love an oddly large number of gifts for the holiday. Have you ever wondered how much all of those strange gifts cost?

Today’s fun infographic gives us a look at the “cost” of all of the presents given in “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” 30 years ago vs. today, and it ends up being higher than you may expect. The partridge in a pear tree alone costs close to $200, not to mention the $2,800 you’ll need for twelve drummers drumming. When all is said and done you could expect the grand total to be somewhere in the ballpark of $27,000 for all of those gifts, so something a little more traditional may be the better option.

For more info on the costs of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” have a look at the graphic below. [Via]

The Cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas [Infographic]


20 Ways to Pump Up a Party

20 Ways to Pump Up a Party

Use these simple tips from readers to turn your next bash into the most happening gig in town! Want more ideas? Learn how to throw a great New Year’s Eve cocktail party.

By Jenny Lee


1. “I get a cake for every bash I host: The sugar gives everyone a second wind, jump-starting the rest of the night.”

2. “Mood lighting is a key ingredient in every affair, so string up your Christmas lights to everything that’s not moving!”

3. “Fill a punch bowl with a jug of inexpensive red wine, toss in a small jar of maraschino cherries including the juice, and add a half dozen each of lime, lemon, and orange wedges. Steep the mixture in the fridge for eight hours for an easy, festive punch to serve.”

4. “It is absolutely worth it to plan your party music ahead of time. Start things out mellow, but make sure the songs get a little bit faster and more fun through the night. Burn the songs onto a CD — and don’t be surprised if your guests want a copy at the end of the night!”

5. “I was pleasantly surprised to walk into a soiree where only desserts were served. The best part: a banana-split bar including ice cream, hot fudge, and lots of homemade whipped cream.”

6. “I rent a karaoke machine — you can find one online or in the yellow pages under ‘audiovisual.’ My husband and I are always prepared to go ‘onstage’ (which is just a cleared-out area in the corner of our den) first for a duet in case everyone else is too shy.”

7. “I hire a real bartender and set up a bar with the ingredients for two unusual drink options (say, sidecars for old-fashioned glamour and blood-orange martinis for a trendy feel).”

8. “My best theme party was called The Prom From Hell. I had the girls dress up in the worst bridesmaid gowns they’ve ever worn, and then we danced to the cheesiest music — Peter Cetera, Richard Marx, and Phil Collins.”

9. “Go retro when it comes to hors d’oeuvres: Serve the things your mother used to put out when she had parties back in the day, like sour-cream-and-onion-soup dip and baked pineapple chunks wrapped in bacon.”

10. “I placed a bowl of temporary tattoos ( for our guests to put on next to a mirror. It turned out to be the highlight of the night.”

11. “Order pizzas a half hour before your company arrives and cut the pies into smaller, bite-size pieces.”

12. “Get guests to stay longer: Hire an on-site babysitter (or maybe two, depending on the number of kids) and let people know it’s OK to bring the little ones along for the night — and tip the sitter for a job well done!”

13. “Play hit songs decade by decade: Start with the sixties and work up to now.”

14. “Huddling over bubbling cheese or chocolate fondue and digging for lost pieces of food really gets people to let loose.”

15. “A deck of cards called Party Games: 40 Fun-filled Games to Get the Party in Full Swing ($13, is a great time. Each card explains a game (try Murder in the Dark for an old-fashioned whodunit) that can easily be set up with everyday items.”

16. “Once, I hired a dance instructor to give my guests a one-hour group lesson. Everyone had an outrageous time learning dances like the Macarena and the Electric Slide. (I even bargained down the instructor’s price by pointing out that he’d probably find some new clients at my bash.)”

17. “Why not throw an updated kegger? Check with your local liquor stores to find out what sorts of imported brands are available in keg size, or order from a little-known local brewery, which can be just as exotic.”

18. “Announce that you’ll be giving prizes to those who can name everybody in the room. It’s an incentive to get everyone trying hard to meet everybody else.”

19. “I asked everyone to come as either James Bond or a James Bond babe. I played the album 007 Classics and ran a few 007 movies on the TV — with the volume off — as a background effect.”

20. “I ensure an interesting crowd by asking everyone to invite along one person they don’t know very well (perhaps a friend from their health club or a new person from work).”


How to Set Your Dinner Table

Holidaily - Thanksgiving

How to Set Your Dinner Table

Use our handy tips and diagram to take the guesswork out of setting the dinner table.

Napkins on the right or the left? Which way does the knife face, anyway? Sometimes it’s just plain hard to remember. Follow this guide and your table will look picture perfect, whether you’re going formal or casual.

1. Chargers and Placemats
For a formal table: Place a charger, or presentation plate, at every place setting. If you like, you can place a soup bowl or salad plate on top of it when you serve those courses, but the charger should always be removed before you serve the main course. You also have the option of removing it immediately after guests sit down — the idea is to dazzle them with a beautifully set table when they enter the dining room, and to hold their places at the table. Finally, if you don’t have a set of chargers or just don’t want to bother, you can cheat with the dinner plate instead, or simply use placemats. In this modern age, even formal rules are made to be broken — just be careful with Grandma’s china!

For an informal table: Use placemats at every place setting, or nothing at all. If you’ve got a beautifully grained wooden dining table, why not show it off?

2. Forks, Knives and Spoons
For a formal table: Forks go on the left and knives and spoons go on the right. (To remember: “Fork” has four letters, as does “left”; “knife” and “spoon” both have five letters, as does “right.”) Diners eat from the “outside in,” meaning soup spoons and salad forks should be farthest from the place setting, since soup and/or salad is typically served first; utensils for the main course — the dinner fork and dinner knife — should be closest to the place setting, since the entree is served last. The knife’s blade should always point inward, toward the dinner plate, since a blade pointing outward might come across as unfriendly, or possibly unsafe. Space all flatware as evenly as you can, depending on the size of your table and number of guests, and align it with the bottom of the charger or dinner plate.

For an informal table: The same rules apply as above, although usually you would have only a dinner knife and fork, and either a salad fork or a soup spoon, depending on how elaborate your menu is.

3. Water and Wine Glasses
For a formal table: Water glasses are always positioned directly above the point of the knife. Wine glasses are placed immediately to the right, with red wine glasses closer to the water glass than white wine glasses, if you are serving both types.

For an informal table: The same rules apply as above, although unless you and your guests are serious oenophiles, you can usually get away with just one wine glass for either type of wine — or use a simple glass tumbler instead. And your water glass and wineglass don’t have to come from the same glassware set — feel free to mix different styles.

4. Napkins
For a formal table: Place napkins to the left of the forks if there’s room on the table; otherwise, you can place them under the forks, or position them on the charger or placemat.

For an informal table: Place them under the forks, or in the middle of the place setting.

5. Bread Plates
For a formal table: Rarely seen at home in these carb-conscious days, bread plates go above the forks, with the butter knife laid horizontally or diagonally (pointing toward 10 o’clock) across the plate and the blade facing away from the center of the table.

For an informal table: Just break bread together the low-key way and pass a bread basket around the table.

6. Dessert Forks and Spoons
For a formal table: These go directly above the main place setting, positioned horizontally, with the fork’s tines facing right and the spoon’s bowl facing left, and the fork closer to the place setting than the spoon.

For an informal table: You don’t need these on a casual table; give them to guests when you serve dessert.


Choreograph Lively Dinner Conversation

Choreograph Lively Dinner Conversation

Image:table seating.jpg

Think of table talk as you would a game of pinball – it’s not much fun when the ball stalls or rolls down the drain. Linda Stone, a former exec at Microsoft and Apple, has thrown umpteen dinner parties. She divulges her seating strategy for keeping the conversation going.

Basic Rules

  • Eight to 12 people per table works best.
  • Never seat friends next to one another.
  • Ignore the old etiquette of alternating males and females.

Stone’s Strategy

  • Sort place cards into four “energy density” piles: H (high), M (medium), L (low), and ? (wild card).
  • Assign the H guests first. Seat them diagonally from one another. Never seat H people directly across from each other.
  • If you have guests with strong opposing views, seat them diagonally from each other, too.
  • Seat the L people next to the H people. When conversation bounces around the table, The Ls will be more inclined to participate because of their proximity to an H.
  • Scatter M and ? guests among the remaining open seats.


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MODELS (sharon)

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MOdels (oge)

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