Full disclosure: We’ve never before shopped for birds, nor pear trees, nor piping pipers.

But it’s 2020. All bets are off.

For the last Bliss of the year, before we bid you good tidings — or, at a bare minimum, less Tiger King-level awful tidings — in the New Year, Bag Lady and Shopping Siren thought it would be fun to attempt the 12 Days of Bliss-mas!

Feel free to hum along.

On the first day of Bliss-mas we would like to give to you — just the pear tree, that partridge can shoo. Trees are at Gammon’s Garden Center & Landscape Nursery in Turner, available as soon as there’s, oh, a foot or two less snow on the ground.

Prepare for some cool pear variety names — Moonglow, Kieffer, Clapp’s — and instructions on what varieties should be planted together for ideal pollination.*


* Also something we’ve never before covered in the column and won’t be starting now. On to Day Two!

Two turtle doves? We’ll take two bags of Dove, please. Online photo

Two turtle doves? Dove times two sounds delightful: Dove Promises dark chocolate, 8.46 oz., and Dove Promises sea salt and caramel dark chocolate, 7.61 oz., Walmart, $3.98 each. Again, no need for birds here, just the chocolate.

Instead of three French horns … three creme horns, Grant’s Bakery, $2.25 each


Four … calling cards? Do they even sell them anymore?

Turns out they do! For T-Mobile, Tracfone, Cricket Wireless and more, Walmart, $5 and up.


Remember back in the day, calling your boyfriend two towns away for 10 cents a minute to talk about the battle of the bands, his super cute smile, the next time you could see each other and like, nothing, really, but for an hour? Such good, non-awful times. Sigh.


For your consideration: Gold paracord (50 feet, $2.99), gold tiaras (6-pack, $2.99), gold shimmer gumballs (34 oz., $12.99), gold glitter clothespins (6-pack, $1.99) and Gold Work Dice in which you can roll for such inspirational orders as “Do Not Quit,” “Be Awesome” and “Lunch Time” ($12.99), Hobby Lobby.

OK, so that’s a lot more than five golden things if you count them individually. But the more the merrier, as they say.

Six geese, er, bottles of Grey Goose Vodka? Citron flavor! L’orange flavor! Plain old vodka flavor! From $24.99 at Hannaford and other fine agency liquor stores. Because there are just so many darn birds in this song and we’re liking the idea of 12 Days of Bliss-mas becoming a drinking game.

Seven days of swimming, forget the swans. Get a community access pass to the YWCA of Central Maine in Lewiston ($65 for adults, with discounts for children, seniors and families) and hop in the pool. COVID-19 restrictions apply, but don’t they always now?


Eight Mades in Maine. The state’s Made in Maine site has a lot more than eight great things, but we’re loving custom cards from Rangeley, hand-crafted dog beds from Topsham, hand-cut puzzles from Bridgton and special jigsaw puzzle tables from Wilton, artisan soap from Harpswell, fashion jewelry from Auburn, lobster buoy birdhouses from Lisbon Falls and Christmas stockings from Bethel.

(Maids a-milking. Mades. See what we did there? We’ll show ourselves out.)

There’s at least nine ladies dancing, probably more in “A Nutcracker Christmas” video released by The Dance Center in Auburn. For $30, you can get your very own copy to stream as you sip hot chocolate from your couch and realize you really regret dropping ballet when you were 5.

Be your own 10 lords a-leaping with Skydive New England in Lebanon, where you can get a discount on groups of 10 or more. Just maybe wait until 2021? No one wants to tempt 2020 any further by jumping out of a plane.

You need 11 pipers piping and we have 11 pipers piping! According to gigsalad.com, there are actually 13 bagpipers serving the Lewiston area and available for bookings. You never know when you might need a couple of spares.

And, drumroll please. . . 12 drummers drumming. Gather 11 friends and you can be the drummers of your dreams with a little help from West African drummer Annegret Baier, a Portland drum teacher who is now offering classes via Zoom, pay what you can.

And we did it! Bliss-mas is a wrap! Let’s give those birds to 2020. Wishing you and yours all the best and all the shopping in 2021.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who believe “The 12 Days of Christmas” has the right number of birds but needs more squirrels) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at baglady@sunjournal.com and shoppingsiren@sunjournal.com.

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