The following are among events occasioned by the approach of the holidays:

A San Francisco brokerage firm has assessed the costs of the goods and services in the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" ("eight maids a-milking," etc.) at $41,848.70.

In Chicago, a transient brought a Christmas gift to Nancy's Restaurant, which had given him free soup in the spirit of the season. Police said the Nativity scene had been stolen from the lawn of Holy Name Cathedral.

Children in Southern California calling a North Pole hot line to talk to Santa Claus have been misdialing, reaching a dial-a-porn line, and discovering Santa naughty, not nice. Parents have been complaining to Pacific Bell, which charges them $2 for each call.

In Marcus Hook, Pa., Les and Sylvia Waas wrote just one Christmas card this year. It's 60 feet long and 40 feet high and hangs from a crane above Interstate 95.

The Irving Berlin Publishing Corp. released sales figures establishing the composer's "White Christmas" as the bestselling song of all time. As of last June 30, more than 170 million records of the song had been sold since its first publication in 1942. And that's just in North America. The Bing Crosby version, at 30 million copies, is the bestselling individual record of all time. In second place, with 25 million copies, is "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets.