Ten lords a-leaping? $4,414. Making yourself happy for less? Priceless


If you can afford to spend $87,403 to buy the gifts of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" -- that's the Associated Press's calculation for the full tab, from the 12 drummers drumming down to the partridge in a pear tree -- then more power to you. But it might be a lot cheaper to make yourself happy.

A variety of spiritual and religious groups will help consumers throw off the shackles of their unhappiness for far less cash than hiring 10 lords a-leaping. My own unscientific survey calculates the cost of being your own best friend as far cheaper than being a true love. Adopting a pet from a shelter for $100 is a great stress-reliever, as is a massage ($80) or a Prozac prescription ($15 with insurance).