The Twelve Days of Christmas Now Cost More Than Ever

Seems like the cost of everything is going up, doesn’t it? Air fares. Haircuts. Heck, even my favorite orange juice is up 10% in the last few months. I’d love to see the cost of something go DOWN for a change. (I don’t count gasoline, it goes up just as fast as it comes down.) I guess things getting more expensive is just a fact of life. And now, the cost of Christmas is up, too. I’m not talking about the cost of shopping for Christmas, although that’s probably up as well. I’m talking about the cost of the 12 Days of Christmas.

"On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree!"

Remember that song? “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” Yeah, if you were to buy all the stuff mentioned in the song, it would set you back about 6% more this year than last year. I know this to be true because a company called PNC Wealth Management has so little to do during the holidays that they actually calculate what each item mentioned in the song is worth, and have done so since 1984 using their “Christmas Price Index”. I know you’re just dying to know what the cost is, so without further ado, I present a list of each item with their cost…

  • Partridge in a pear tree: $204.99
  • Two turtle doves: $125.00
  • Three French hens: $165.00
  • Four calling birds: $519.96
  • Five gold rings: $750.00
  • Six geese a-laying: $210.00
  • Seven swans a-swimming: $7,000
  • Eight maids a-milking: $58.00
  • Nine Ladies dancing: $6,294.03
  • Ten lords a-leaping: $4,766.70
  • Eleven pipers piping: $2,562
  • Twelve drummers drumming: $2,775.50

Grand total: $25,431.18. That’s if you bought just one day’s worth of each item, but we know that all but the 12 drummers are mentioned multiple times in the song; the pipers twice, the lords 3 times, the ladies 4 times, etc. So, if you were charged by how many times each item is mentioned in the song, here’s what your bill would look like:

  • Partridge x 12 mentions = 12 x 204.99 = $2,459.88
  • Turtle doves x 11 mentions = 11 x 125 = $1,375
  • French hens x 10 mentions = 10 x 165 = $1,650
  • Calling birds x 9 mentions = 9 x 519.86 = $4,679.64
  • Gold rings x 8 mentions = 8 x 750 = $6,000
  • Geese x 7 mentions = 7 x 210 = $1,470
  • Swans x 6 mentions = 6 x 7000 = $42,000
  • Maids x 5 mentions = 5 x 58 = $290
  • Ladies x 4 mentions = 4 x 6294.03 = $25,176.12
  • Lords x 3 mentions = 3 x 4766.70 = $14,300.10
  • Pipers x 2 mentions = 2 x 2562 = $5,124
  • Drummers x 1 mention = 1 x 2775.50 = $2,775.50

Grand total for all the items for all 12 days of Christmas? A whopping $107,300.24 for all 364 items in the song! That’s 6.1% higher than 2011, an increase that can be blamed on the geese and swans (up 30% and 11% respectively) due to higher feed costs. To be fair, half of the items did not go up at all: the maids, the ladies, the lords, the calling birds, the turtle doves and the partridge. The most expensive item? The swans at $1000 a piece. The bargain item is one of the maids, paid at minimum wage of $7.25.

Anyway, since my name isn’t Trump, I think I’ll pass on buying the 12 days of Christmas and settle on something more affordable…like lottery tickets.

Here’s a chart comparing the cost of the 12 days of Christmas since 1984:

The cost of the 12 days of Christmas has risen about 67% sincde 1984!

 And just for fun, PNC Wealth management has a little game you can play on their website called the PNC Christmas Price Index Gift Hunt. Basically, you select a numbered marker on the globe then use your mouse to find the various items for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Cheesy, but a nice little time waster! Click the image below to begin!

Click here to play the Gift Hunt and find all the gifts of the 12 Days of Christmas!


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  1. Pingback: Where Have My Two Days Gone??? « MKG- Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts

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