It's that time of year!
From mid-December through early January, nobody quite knows what day it is. Most of the shopping should be done. If it's not, we can just blame Amazon for late delivery.
So it's time to enjoy, to indulge and to overeat and overdrink. Diets start in 2023!
It's also a time when the air is filled with holiday music. I own a distressingly large amount of Christmas albums. How many versions of "Little Drummer Boy" should we hear in a month? Is there a limit?
One of the best known and most notorious Christmas carols is "The 12 Days of Christmas." Tanya Pai wrote a history of the song for Vox.com earlier this month and described it as "a really effective way to annoy family members on road trips."
The first printed version of "12 Days" appeared in 1780, but the one most of us know dates to 1909. We can credit — or blame — English composer Frederic Austin with formalizing the melody and lyrics.
The last seven days listed in the song feature birds, which led author Mark Forsyth to speculate in a 2016 book that the song originally was a kind of recipe, since birds were eaten in larger numbers in 18th century England.
"December was an avian slaughter," Forsyth wrote in A Christmas Cornucopia, an excellent look at holiday traditions.
So with confusion setting in and the solstice upon us, I took a swing at a plastics industry version of that swell tune. Some of it came off the top of my head; some of it was inspired by a wonderful plastics glossary posted on the website of shapes supplier Emco Plastics of Cedar Grove, N.J.
On the 12th day of Christmas, my favorite supplier gave to me:
• 12 55-gallon drums.
• 11 pipes extruding.
• 10 lords a-laminating.
• 9 sheets a-draping.
• 8 melt flow ratings.
• 7 single-cavity molds.
• 6 gaylords for shipping.
• 5 polymer rings.
• 4 calling resin reps.
• 3 French competitors.
• 2 vinyl gloves.
And an artificial — but just as good and nonflammable — Christmas tree!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!