Oh, the holidays. It’s that time of year where we gather ’round a fire, eat bountiful meals and recite the lyrics to ancient carols without really realizing what we’re singing about. We all know and love the Twelve Days of Christmas, and the idea of giving twelve small gifts in a row has become increasingly more common. Well, the team at the Community Edition strongly believes that if you’re going to do something, you should do it well and you should do it right, dammit! We took it upon ourselves to tell you how to track down the items listed in the Twelve Days of Christmas here in Kitchener Waterloo so you can celebrate the holidays in the utmost of authentic ways.
1. Partridge in a Pear Tree
Ok, so it turns out partridges are super hard to acquire in KW. But, there’s a farm in Drumbo called Royal Game Birds Ltd. that sells pheasants. A pheasant is basically a partridge; it’s not like anyone will notice, anyway.
Pear trees aren’t as difficult to find, depending on the season. Our advice is to buy some seeds, sprinkle them in a pot and hope for a Christmas miracle.
2. Two Turtle Doves
We know what you’re thinking. What the heck is a turtle dove? Well, a turtle dove is a member of the dove family (obviously) but it’s native to Europe and the Middle East, but winters in Africa. Basically your chances of getting a turtle dove here in KW are slim to none. But, there are tons of people selling regular doves on kijiji, so there’s your answer.
Pro tip: if you’re buying an animal on the Internet, be aware of where it’s coming from because some people mistreat animals and then sell them for profit. Also, animals live past Christmas, so then what’re you supposed to do with all these birds you just bought? We suggest making paper cranes because then no one gets hurt.
3. Three French Hens
After some investigative research, we found that you can purchase live chickens at Pullets Plus in Elmira for $12.25 each. We don’t know what the chicken market is looking like these days, but to us, that’s a damn good deal.
4. Four Calling Birds
You’re seeing a pattern, here. There’s a lot of damn birds in this song. We aren’t “bird experts” but we think a calling bird is similar to a mockingbird, so might we suggest you hit up some of the used bookstores in the Region (Wordsworth, KW Bookstore, to name a few) to acquire four copies of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Books make great gifts and To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic tale of morality and oppression. If that doesn’t say Happy Holidays then we’re not sure what does.
5. Five Golden Rings
If you’re feeling rich this holiday season, you can always buy five actual golden rings on the fifth day of Christmas. But if you’re feeling more frugal, check out the Etsy Waterloo Region Instagram page for local jewelry makers who are bound to make rings that are affordable and support the local economy. Gifted also sells locally made jewelry, so check them out, too.
6. Six Geese a Laying
This one is easy. Just go to either Laurier or the University of Waterloo and I guarantee you will see an abundance of Canadian geese (depending on their migration patterns, of course). Once again, don’t touch the geese because they bite, but also, it’s just not cool to touch wild animals.
7. Seven Swans a Swimming
Man, this song really loves birds. Luckily enough, you can spot swans all over the Region. Waterloo Park usually has tonnes of swans, but for the millionth time, don’t touch these wild, perfect creatures. Instead, just take an artsy pic for Instagram. Bonus points if you can actually get seven in the photo.
8. Eight Maids a Milking
Eby Manor in Conestogo is probably the closest dairy farm to Waterloo, but we’re assuming they use high tech machinery to milk their cows, opposed to “eight maids.” If you’re looking for some GMO free milk this holiday season, check them out. You won’t find any milking maids here (we think), but you will find local dairy.
9. Nine Ladies Dancing
Kitchener Waterloo has a lot of dance schools, but the top rated ones in the Region are Waterloo Dance, Fred Astaire Dance Studio and Bringing Tap Back. If you don’t want to take lessons but still want to bust a move, might we suggest checking out Starlight or District where the music is loud and you can dance as poorly as you want in a public space.
10. Ten Lords a Leaping
Is The Lord of The Dance back on tour? No? Okay. Well this one might be tough.
11. Eleven Pipers Piping
Okay, to be honest, we were just going to fill this section with a joke about finding some pipes at Different Strokes. We still stand by that. However, if you are looking for another kind of piping, check out the KW Pipe Band for the musical piping or Home Hardware for some literal pipes.
12. Twelve Drummers Drumming
Download Tinder or Bumble because we guarantee that you’ll find at least 12 drummers there. Swipe at your own risk. Or, not into the dating app scene? Check out some of the open mic or music venues in town. Boathouse or The Duke of Wellington are your best bet for drummers. Our last suggestion is make a kid’s Christmas (and subsequently make their parents hate you) and buy them a drum kit. Even if it’s just one drummer we’re sure it’ll feel like twelve.