Do you remember learning the “12 Days of Christmas” carol for the first time? Unless you were raised Catholic—and even if you were—you probably thought how odd a gift of eight maids a milking was. The only thing that ever made sense to me was the five golden rings. As a child, I understood what Christmas was. However, as a wee one, going to church was never as exciting as waking up on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought.
Many experts say the 12 gifts in the “12 Days of Christmas” are secret references to significant symbols in the bible to teach young Catholics about the religion in a time when it was illegal in England to be Catholic. Traditionally, in Catholicism, Christmas is celebrated for 12 days, beginning on December 25 and lasting until January 6, which is Epiphany. Epiphany is the day the three wise men visited the baby Jesus and brought gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh.
The giving of gifts around this time is not a new thing, nor is it a retailer’s conspiracy. The giving of gifts is traditional and historic. In some countries, people give gifts throughout the 12 days of Christmas—much like the Jewish tradition of the eight days of Hanukkah. Some wait until January 6 to open presents. However, you rarely find this tradition in America. Traditionally, our gift-giving season runs from the day after Thanksgiving and ends on Christmas Day, December 25.
During this time, retailers—who depend on Christmas sales—find cute and creative ways to entice customers to buy gifts. Every year, it’s a game and the majority of us play it. Many stores often give away things to get people into its doors. Gimmicks such as these aren’t meant to demean the true meaning of Christmas or make light of anyone’s religious beliefs. It is simply a way for retailers and marketers to let people who are wanting to buy know that their store has great gifts.
Some of us enjoy the hunt of picking out the perfect gifts for everyone on our list, while for others Christmas is a time of great stress. There is a whole school of study behind gift giving. In short, psychologists and scientist have found that giving and receiving gifts makes us feel good. In fact, those who study the act of gift giving have found that giving a gift is actually more rewarding than receiving.
Every year we field the question about our 12 days of Christmas promotion. I hope I just provided you with a good answer. So, whether you celebrate the 12 days before or the 12 days after December 25, let’s call a spade a spade. We’re in the business of selling and you’re in the business of buying… so here is a recap of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s 2014 12 Days of Christmas Gift Guide:
On the first day: Cheaper Than Dirt! Gift Card
Have you found yourself lost in a sea of thousands of firearms, boxes of ammo and riflescopes that range in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars? Confused? Well, don’t worry. I have a solution. Purchase your gun-loving loved one a gift card from Cheaper Than Dirt! They get exactly what they want and you get to move on with your day.
On the second day: Armscor .223 Remington Ammo
Accelerating from the end of the barrel at 3,050 feet-per-second (FPS), the 62-grain full metal jacket bullet is perfect for plinking and target practice. Every round is new production—no reloads—with a polished case, uniform crimp and consistent length, and proudly made in Stevensville, Montana.
On the third day: PMAG GEN 3 Magazines
Similar to the MOE PMAG, the GEN M3 Window features a long-life stainless steel spring, four-way anti-tilt follower and constant-curve internal geometry for reliable feeding, and simple tool-less disassembly to allow cleaning.
On the fourth day: Armscor .45 ACP ammo
Armscor makes one load for the .45 ACP—a full metal jacket bullet with 230 grains and a velocity of 830 feet per second. With a slightly lower velocity than many other brands’ .45 rounds, the Armscor .45 ACP produces less felt recoil, allowing you to shoot accurately in both full-sized and compact semiautomatic handguns.
On the fifth day: Leapers’ UTG 547 Tactical Vest
You can’t go wrong with the UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest. Not only will you be secure in knowing your tactically minded elf will receive the most unique present this gift-giving season, it will fit. The UTG 547 is fully adjustable for both length and girth. For comfort, the UTG 547’s base of mesh material construction aids in the release of moisture and heat.
On the sixth day: Streamlight TLR-1 HL LED Weapon Light
Streamlight’s TLR-1 HL weapon light mounts directly to handguns with GLOCK-style rails and to all MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) rails. It also includes keys for GLOCK-style, Picatinny, Beretta 90two, S&W 99 and S&W TSW platforms. Streamlight’s TLR-1 HL provides a 630-lumen blast of light for maximum illumination while clearing a room or searching an alley.
On the seventh day: TulAmmo 7.62x39mm Ammo
For the AK owner and shooter, stock sets and expensive optics are nice; however, nothing beats a few boxes of ammo. What’s the joy in having such a gun as the AK-47 if you don’t shoot it? For the AK lovers in your life or if you just want to stick a bow on it and gift it to yourself, 1,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm ammo will light them up.
On the eighth day: Millennium Energy Bars
The baked, fortified food bars have excellent taste, and are easily digestible. Compatible with drinking water restrictions, the food bars are compact and fit into extremely limited storage areas. They may be safely stored up to five years under all climatic conditions—ranging from desert to arctic.
On the ninth day: UZI Tactical Glass Breaking Pen
For $13.50, the UZI tactical pen #5 writes smooth and holds up to extreme use. It has a writing implement on one end and carbide glass breaker on the other. The carbide tip easily breaks car windows on the first try without much force. The writing tip is sharp and will continue to write even after using it as a self-defense tool.
On the tenth day: Browning Range kit
The Browning range kit includes orange-tinted shooting glasses. The orange tint is best for outdoor shooting when it is cloudy or at dusk or dawn. It sounds counter intuitive, but the orange tint actually enhances the color orange in clay targets. Also included are foam earplugs and passive earmuffs.
On the eleventh day: UZI Protector Watch
Whether driven by fashion trends or the uncomfortable stigma of being in a meeting and pulling your phone from your pocket or purse to check the time, the wristwatch’s value is once again in vogue. The UZI Protector watch makes a great stocking-stuffer to keep that special someone at the front edge of the function and fashion curve.
On the twelth day: .50-Caliber Ammo Cans
For a little over $13 apiece, you get a 12 pack of brand new, unissued .50 caliber, made-in-the-USA ammo cans. An ammo can makes a perfect gift for coworkers, hunting buddies, members of your shooting league and family members—keeping one for yourself, of course.
What is your favorite gift on the 12 days of Christmas gift guide? Tell us which one and why in the comment section.