State, national lifestyle columnists

A Christmas prayer; Price tag for all the items in ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’

Dear Readers: Merry Christmas. We hope those who are celebrating this holiday are fortunate enough to enjoy it with family and friends. A few years ago, we printed a prayer that a reader sent in, author unknown. Since then, we’ve received several requests to reprint it, so here it is once again:

A Christmas Prayer

Let us pray . . .
That strength and courage abundant be given to all who work for a world of reason and understanding.
That the good that lies in each of our hearts may day by day be magnified.
That we will come to see more clearly not that which divides us, but that which unites us.
That each hour may bring us closer to a final victory, not of nation over nation, but of ourselves over our own evils and weaknesses.
That the true spirit of this Christmas Season, its joy, its beauty, its hope, and above all, its abiding faith, may be among us.
That the blessings of peace be ours, the peace to build and grow, to live in harmony and sympathy with others, and to plan for the future with confidence.

Dear Readers: Last year, we printed the PNC Christmas Price Index figures for the cost of purchasing all the items listed in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

According to the PNC, this year, True Loves must pay more than $107,300.24 for all 364 gifts, an increase of 6.1 percent. And while the price of the partridge, two turtle doves, four calling birds, eight maids-a-milking, nine ladies dancing and 10 lords-a-leaping remained the same, those pesky swans jumped 11.1 percent to $7,000. The pear tree is 11.8 percent higher at $189.99. Also costing more this year are 11 pipers piping, 12 drummers drumming, three French hens and five gold rings, which rose 16.3 percent due to the dramatic rise in gold prices.

Dear Annie: It seems people are always complaining about not having gifts acknowledged. In our house, when you received a gift, you could play with it the day you received it. Then it was put away until you had written your thank-you note. If the child didn’t want to write one, that was OK, and the toy was donated. The same applied to monetary gifts. You couldn’t spend it before writing a thank-you note, and if you didn’t write one, the money was given to charity.

This works even with a 2-year-old. You explain why saying “thank you” is important. Then ask them to tell you what they would like to say so you can write it for them. I always let the child write something, as well, even if it’s only a scribble. One of the children once drew a happy face, which was so sweet.

Every Christmas, I would include note cards and stamps in their Christmas stockings. After a while, they would simply come to me saying they needed to write their thank-you notes and would ask for my assistance. It is such a simple policy to implement. — Proud Grandma

Dear Grandma: We highly approve of your methods and wish more parents would implement them.

Annie’s Snippet for Christmas Day: Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. — Oren Arnold

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar


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