Ever wonder how much it would cost if your true love did give you all the items in The 12 Days of Christmas song? According to the annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management, the total cost of The 12 Days of Christmas gifts for 2012 is $107,300!
This year’s cost rose 6% over last year. None of the items in the song went down in price since 2011, though a few items have remained the same, and some have seen double-digit increases.
2012 Twelve Days of Christmas Price Index
- One partridge in a pear tree – $204.99 (+10.8%)
- Two turtle doves – $125 (unchanged)
- Three french hens – $165 (+10%)
- Four calling birds – $519.96 (unchanged)
- Five gold rings – $750 (+16.3%)
- Six geese a laying – $210 (+29.6%)
- Seven swans a swimming – $7,000 (+11.1%)
- Eight maids a milking – $58 (unchanged)
- Nine ladies dancing – $6294.03 (unchanged)
- Ten lords a leaping – $4766 (unchanged)
- Eleven pipers piping – $2562 (+5.5%)
- Twelve drummers drumming – $2775.50 (+5.5%)
The total cost of these core items is $24,431. But since the “true love” keeps adding the gifts on top of each other throughout the 12 days of Christmas, the grand total comes to $107,300.
The Cheapest Item
The partridge is the least expensive item on the list, costing only $15. But if you want it in a pear tree it’ll cost an additional $189.99!
The Most Expensive Item
The seven swans, at $1,000 each, are the most expensive items. Swans and geese saw double-digit increases this year – blamed in part on the 2011 drought which affected feed costs.
Dancers Get Paid More Than Musicians
I found it interesting that the twelve drummers drumming and eleven pipers piping were paid basically the same in per-person costs ($231.29 per drummer and $232.91 per piper), but the nine ladies dancing cost considerably more – $699.34 per dancer!
Six items mentioned in the song have remained the same price, including the maids-a-milking, ladies dancing, lords-a-leaping, calling birds, turtle doves and the partridge. The eight maids-a-milking still cost just $58 because the minimum wage hasn’t risen.
What if 12 Days of Christmas Gifts Were Bought Online?
Suppose your true love was a savvy Internet shopper and hoped to snag these gifts at a bargain online? Would they actually save money by buying online? Not this year.
As I mentioned earlier, buying just one set of the core items in each verse costs $24,431 in traditional stores this year, but they would cost you $40,440 online.
What’s the diff? Well, let’s just say that Amazon Prime doesn’t offer free shipping for live birds. Yet.
How the 12 Days of Christmas Price Index is Calculated
So how in the world does PNC price out the 12 Days of Christmas list each year? I’ve heard they actually sends out elves to check jewelry stores, dance companies, pet stores and other sources in order to ascertain the costs.
Are any of the 12 Days of Christmas gift items on your Christmas wish list this year…or on the lists of anyone you’re shopping for?
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I don’t know about you but some of these items are exorbitant. Nine ladies dancing – $6294.03? I think I can get them for cheaper :).
Boris, yeah, for a while I was wondering what kind of dancers we were talking about here…but I discovered that the PNC elves consulted a Pennsylvania ballet company for the price. Don’t know if they were charging by the hour, or the day, or what.
Veronica @ Pelican on Money says
Hahaha, I’m amazed someone actually took the time to figure that out! Nevertheless, 12 days of Christmas are EXPENSIVE! Yikes.
My Money Design says
This is great! I love when people analyze pop culture and holiday tradition.