Twelve Days of Christmas Price Index Increases

For 35 years, PNC Wealth Management has released its Christmas Price Index, a whimsical look at the cost of the gifts in the classic Holiday song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". The most generous True Love's cost of Christmas, based on adding the items as they repeat each time, is up over $150,000 for the fifth time due to cost of Lords, pipers and drummers and, along with a modest increase for pear trees. There was a significant decrease in the price of the five golden rings.

A more frugal True Love who only purchases the song's gifts once can get by with spending $39,094.93 in 2018 – a 1.2% increase over last year. With the exception of the recession in 2000 to 2001, prices have been steadily climbing since 1995. This rise largely mirrors the Consumer Price Index; the most widely used federal measure of inflation. This year the Christmas price index rose more than $446.

Twelve Days of Christmas Price Index Graph
Source: PNC Financial Services Group

A bright side of the cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas is that over three-quarters of the items remained the same from 2017. The doves, French hens, calling birds, swans and low-skilled labor of maids-a-milking and ladies dancing remained the same. Skilled labor rose for the lords leaping, pipers and drummers by 3.0% and 3.5% and a whopping 12.7%. The falling price of gold lowered the prices of the five golden rings by 9.1%.

Over the 35 years of the PNC index, the internet has simplified shopping for items online for the song. However, shipping and fuel costs have risen over the years driving the index higher over the decades.

2018 PNC Chrismas Price Index
Item 2018 2017 Percent Change
A Partridge in a Pear Tree Total $220.13 $219.95 0.1%
Two Turtle Doves $375.00 $375.00 0.0%
Three French hens $181.50 $181.50 0.0%
Four Calling Birds $599.96 $599.96 0.0%
Five Golden Rings $750.00 $825.00 -9.1%
Six Geese-a-Laying $390.00 $360.00 0.0%
Seven Swans-a-Swimming $13,125.00 $13,125.00 0.0%
Eight Maids-a-Milking $58.00 $58.00 0.0%
Nine Ladies Dancing $7,552.84 $7,552.84 0.0%
Ten Lords-a-Leaping $10,000.00 $9,708.74 3.0%
Eleven Pipers Piping $2,804.40 $2,708.40 3.5%
Twelve Drummers Drumming $3,308.10 $2,934.10 12.7%
Total $39,094.93 $38,648.65 1.2%

For more information, visit the website.

Changes in the index have been adjusted this year for labor retroactively to 1984 by PNC.

      Source: PNC Financial Services Group    


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