|Continuing an annual tradition, Apple's 12 Days of Christmas app has given out the first of its post-Christmas "presents," a free EP of songs by the band Maroon 5. The program -- available only to UK, Canada and some European residents -- promises 12 daily free items from the iTunes Store, which can include music, movie rentals, TV episodes, e-books or apps. This year, the app kicked off with one free offer early -- a music video of Rod Stewart's take on "Let it Snow."
The Maroon 5 EP features a remix of the song "Moves Like Jagger" that features Christina Aguilera, a remix of the song "One More Night," and a music video for "Moves Like Jagger." The EP, interestingly, is also not available for sale in the US, and those who don't want the entire EP can select either of the two audio tracks for free.
There is usually some regional variation in the gift choices given to different regions. Broadly speaking, UK and Europe get the same gifts, while Canada often gets different ones. Last year, only the first and seventh day gifts were the same in both regions.
The promotion, which commemorates the gap between the celebration of Christ's birth and the traditional date of the his baptism, originates in Eastern Orthodox Christianity but is variously observed in a number of regions outside the US. Today is also called Boxing Day in many parts of the world, and often kicks off a week of special sales -- a trend that started outside the US but has been gathering in popularity as merchants try harder to increase sales in the final week of the calendar (and often fiscal) year.