Twelve Days of Christmas Price Index

For the 27th year, PNC Wealth Management has released its Christmas Price Index, a quaint look at the cost of the gifts in the classic Holiday song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". True Love's cost of Christmas is up a whopping $1,973.82 from last year. This increase is the second largest since the beginning of the PNC price index in 1984.

The total “Twelve Days of Christmas” cost is $23,439.38 in 2010, a 9.2 percent increase over last year.  With the exception of the recession in 2000 – 2001, prices have been steadily climbing since 1995.  This rise largely mirrors the Consumer Price Index; the most widely used federal measure of inflation.

Twelve Days of Christmas Chart from 1984 to 2010
Source: PNC Financial Services Group

A bright side of the cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas is that four of the twelve items showed no change from 2009. Geese, calling birds, pear tree and the cost of eight milkmaids remained the same.

Skilled labor rose across the board. Nine ladies dancing rose by 15 percent, and was up 30 percent in the last two years. Ten lords-a-leaping increased 8.1 percent. Eleven pipers and twelve drummers each had a 3.1 increase since last year.

Gold jewelry prices have risen another 30 percent this year due to the decline in the dollar which typically causes investors to buy gold, driving up the cost.

The largest increase was for french hens with a 233 percent increase due to higher demand and scarcity.

2010 PNC Chrismas Price Index
Item 2010 2009 Percent Change
A Partridge $12.00 $10.00 20.0%
Pear Tree $149.99 $149.99 0.0%
A Partridge in a Pear Tree Total $161.99 $159.99 1.3%
Two Turtle Doves $100.00 $55.98 78.6%
Three French hens $150.00 $45.00 233.3%
Four Calling Birds $599.96 $599.96 0.0%
Five Golden Rings $649.95 $499.95 30.0%
Six Geese-a-Laying $150.00 $150.00 0.0%
Seven Swans-a-Swimming $5,600.00 $5,250.00 6.7%
Eight Maids-a-Milking $58.00 $58.00 0.0%
Nine Ladies Dancing $6,294.03 $5,473.07 15.0%
Ten Lords-a-Leaping $4,766.70 $4,413.61 8.0%
Eleven Pipers Piping $2,356.20 $2,284.80 3.1%
Twelve Drummers Drumming $2,552.55 $2,475.20 3.1%
Total $23,439.38 $21,465.56 9.2%

Source: PNC Financial Services Group

Shopping online may be more convenient; however, these conveniences will cost you a whopping $34,336, up 9.2 percent from a year ago.  In the case of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, shopping online will cost you $11,000 more than if you bought these same items the traditional way.

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